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Crack-Defined Nanogap Electrodes for High-Throughput Decoding of DNA

Project description

Quantum leap in DNA sequencing methodology

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has truly revolutionised molecular biology, offering the possibility for high-throughput analysis of nucleic acids in a fraction of the time. NGS supports personalised medicine as it can be employed to diagnose genetic diseases. Nonetheless, in the clinical setting the sequence of a patient’s entire genome is often required within a couple of hours. To address this unmet need, the EU-funded MaMs3 project has developed specific electrodes capable of advancing NGS technology in terms of efficiency and speed. This improvement is expected to also make NGS more cost-effective to implement in routine diagnosis.


Within the ERC Starting Grant project M&M´s we have developed several innovative fabrication and integration technologies for nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS). In one of these research activities, our ERC team has invented and demonstrated a new methodology for parallel fabrication of electrically conductive electrode pairs separated by sub-2 nm wide gaps, enabling unprecedented fabrication of millions of such nanogap electrodes. To the best of our knowledge, there is no alternative technology available with comparable capabilities.
We have identified next generation DNA sequencing using electron tunneling detection as a high-impact application that could be enabled by our nanogap electrode fabrication methodology. Sequencing of the genome of individual patients is vital to realize the potential of truly personalized medicine. However, current DNA sequencing technologies are still too slow and expensive for sequencing genomes for healthcare practice on a large scale. There is, therefore a critical need for a new sequencing platform that has the potential to sequence the full human genome within 1 hour for less than €100. DNA sequencing based on electron tunneling detection (quantum sequencing) is one of the most promising next-generation sequencing technologies that could reach this target. However, there currently is no technology available to fabricate, in a scalable fashion, large numbers of electrode pairs with 1-2 nm wide gaps that are integrated in nanopores. As a possible solution to this problem, our nanogap electrode methodology is addressing a potential multi-billion € market.
In this ERC-PoC project we will develop business and IPR strategies for commercial exploitation of our nanogap electrode methodology. Furthermore, we will develop initial proof-of-concept demonstrations of DNA detection events using nanogap electrode devices, which will be important for attracting interest from industry and possible investors.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
100 44 Stockholm

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Östra Sverige Stockholm Stockholms län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 150 000,00

Beneficiaries (1)