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Protein detection using tunable pores: resistive pulses and current rectification

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journal contribution
posted on 13.05.2016, 11:16 by Emma Blundell, Laura Mayne, Michael Lickorish, Steven Christie, Mark Platt
We present the first comparison between assays that use resistive pulses or rectification ratios on a tunable pore platform. We compare their ability quantify the cancer biomarker Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). The first assay measures the electrophoretic mobility of aptamer modified nanoparticles as they traverse the pore. By controlling the aptamer loading on the particles surface, and measuring the speed of each translocation event we are able to observe a change in velocity as low as 18 pM. A second non-particle assay exploits the current rectification properties of conical pores. We report the first use of Layer-by-Layer, (LbL) assembly of polyelectrolytes onto the surface of the polyurethane pore. The current rectification ratios demonstrate the presence of the polymers, producing pH and ionic strength dependent currents. The LbL allows the facile immobilisation of DNA aptamers onto the pore allowing a specific dose response to VEGF. Monitoring changes to the current rectification allows for a rapid detection of VEGF 5 pM. Each assay format offers advantages in preparation but comparable sensitivities


The work was supported by the European Commission for Research (PCIG11-GA-2012-321836 Nano4Bio), Loughborough University Chemistry Department (Start-up fund).



  • Science


  • Chemistry

Published in

Faraday Discussions


BLUNDELL, E. ... et al, 2016. Protein detection using tunable pores: resistive pulses and current rectification. Faraday Discussions, 193 (Nov), pp.487-505


© Royal Society of Chemistry


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Faraday Discussions and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6FD00072J





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