Beyond the gene chip

Jiunn Benjamin Heng, Aleksei Aksimentiev, Chuen Ho, Valentin Dimitrov, Thomas W. Sorsch, John F. Miner, William M. Mansfield, Klaus Schulten, Gregory Timp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We describe a prospective strategy for reading the encyclopedic information encoded in the genome: using a nanopore in a membrane formed from a metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS)-capacitor to sense the charge in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). In principle, as DNA permeates the capacitor-membrane through the pore, the electrostatic charge distribution characteristic of the molecule should polarize the capacitor and induce a voltage on the electrodes that can be measured. Silicon nanofabrication and molecular dynamic simulations with atomic detail are technological linchpins in the development of this detector. The sub-nanometer precision available through silicon nanotechnology facilitates the fabrication of the detector, and molecular dynamics provides us with a means to design it and analyze the experimental outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalBell System Technical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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