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Mimicking nature at the nanoscale: Selective transport across a biomimetic nanopore
Date:6/20/2011

he development of synthetic systems that imitate biological structures and processes. Advances in nanotechnology now make it possible to study and shape matter at the nanometer scale, opening the way to imitate biological structures at the molecular level to both study and harness their ingenuity." The group of dr. Roderick Lim at the University of Basel purified the nuclear pore proteins and Dekkers group made the biomimetic nanopores of these by attaching these proteins to small holes in a solid-state support.

Selectivity

The new research, performed chiefly by lead author Stefan Kowalczyk, a graduate student in Dekkers lab, demonstrates that it is possible to establish a biomimetic nuclear pore and to monitor transport of individual proteins across the pore. Importantly, the biomimetic pore exhibits strong selectivity, just like the natural nuclear pore complex: ImpB proteins do pass the pores, whereas BSA proteins do not (as illustrated by the attached image). A differing degree of selectivity was found, depending on which exact nuclear pore proteins were used to functionalize the pore. The researchers have shown that the biomimetic pore is fully functional and can be used as a testing platform for studies of drug delivery into a cell's nucleus.


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Contact: Prof. Cees Dekker
c.dekker@tudelft.nl
Delft University of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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