The demand for a next-generation of technologies for DNA sequencing that will provide fast and affordable DNA decoding is pressing. Present bio-chemical schemes are time consuming and expensive, thus cheap and fast alternatives for DNA “reading” are of great need. This is now internationally recognized. For example, the US NIH recently awarded 40M$ in grants overpiloting projects to spur development of these innovative technologies. The goal of this project is to investigate a novel single-molecule DNA se-quencing nanotechnology protocol (gene sequencer) that has potential to sequence a molecule of genomic dimensions in hours without expensive and fault sensitive DNA copying steps and chemical reactions. The gene sequencer is based on the electrical characterization of individual nucleo-bases, while DNA passes through a nanopore with integrated nanotube side-electrodes. The research proposed here will provide a unique combina-tion of state of the art capabilities for cutting and usage of single wall carbon nanotubes as electrodes forming a lithographically fabricated “nanogap” with single-nanometer precision. In addition, the synergy of consortium resources for electrical characterization and leading theoretical skills for nanotransport will provide new solutions and information for an answer on the proof-of-principle question: is it possible to detect different types of DNA bases by their electrical properties? The overall objective of our collaborative research is to develop cheap and high-speed DNA sequencing technology. This will be achieved trough the following steps: 1. Fabrication of single wall carbon nanotube junction-gate for molecular recognition; 2. Exploring the interaction and conduction mechanisms between DNA and nanotube-electrode and DNA-nanopore; 3. Electrical characterization of the DNA nucleobases; 4. Development of model nano-electronic device for single-base DNA electrical characterization and decoding.
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