Micro- and nanopore systems offer the potential to detect biological events at the single-molecule level and on very short time-scales. Biological pore systems comprise of a lipid bilayer, frequently containing a protein of interest, assembled over a hole formed in a synthetic material - in our case, diamond. The detection of molecules occurs in real-time and relies on monitoring the change in ionic current across the pore as a molecule passes through. This leads to identification and quantification of individual molecules from their unique current signature (Fig. 1). Pore systems have a wide range of applications including detection of single molecules, rapid and label-free sequencing of DNA, particle counting, model drug delivery systems and liquid-liquid analysis.
Fig. 1: Schematic of an analyte (or DNA) translocating through a nanopore
device with the expected corresponding current-time traces.