Nanopore detection of nerve agent degradation products

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Improved analytical capability for detection of organophosphate chemical agents (i.e. nerve gases) remains a high priority need in our continuing defense against future terrorist attacks. A nanopore stochastic sensing method for the rapid detection of nerve agent hydrolytes (GF acid and GD acid) has been developed by using single channel recording with lipid bilayer technique. A molecularly tailored α-hemolysin protein pore interacts with GF acid and GD acid. By monitoring the ionic current passing through the single protein nano-pore at a fixed transmembrane potential, individual binding events are detected as transient blockades in the recorded current with sub-millisecond time resolution. Our experiments also show that GF acid and GD acid as well as false positives could be successfully differentiated, and even simultaneously detected. Common interferents will not interfere with their detection in a wide dynamic range. Therefore, this approach has a potential to be developed as a rapid and sensitive method to detect nerve agent hydrolytes in an aqueous environment at the single-molecule level.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2010: Electronics, Devices, Fabrication, MEMS, Fluidics and Computational
Published: June 21, 2010
Pages: 99 - 102
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications
ISBN: 978-1-4398-3402-2