Super-Resolution Detection of DNA Nanostructures Using a Nanopore

Kaikai Chen, Adnan Choudhary, Sarah E. Sandler, Christopher Maffeo, Caterina Ducati, Aleksei Aksimentiev, Ulrich F. Keyser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-resolution analysis of biomolecules has brought unprecedented insights into fundamental biological processes and dramatically advanced biosensing. Notwithstanding the ongoing resolution revolution in electron microscopy and optical imaging, only a few methods are presently available for high-resolution analysis of unlabeled single molecules in their native states. Here, label-free electrical sensing of structured single molecules with a spatial resolution down to single-digit nanometers is demonstrated. Using a narrow solid-state nanopore, the passage of a series of nanostructures attached to a freely translocating DNA molecule is detected, resolving individual nanostructures placed as close as 6 nm apart and with a surface-to-surface gap distance of only 2 nm. Such super-resolution ability is attributed to the nanostructure-induced enhancement of the electric field at the tip of the nanopore. This work demonstrates a general approach to improving the resolution of single-molecule nanopore sensing and presents a critical advance towards label-free, high-resolution DNA sequence mapping, and digital information storage independent of molecular motors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2207434
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 23 2023


  • DNA nanostructures
  • biosensing
  • nanopores
  • single molecules
  • super-resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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