Single Particle Counter using Nanopores: Multiphysics Simulations and Experiments

H.V.B. Achar (Italy, India), M. Rossi, S. Cavalcanti, E. Giordano, E. Sangiorgi, and M. Tartagni (Italy)

Keywords

Biosensors, nanopores, coulter counters, multiphysics simulations.

Abstract

Investigations on micro-fabricated devices for biomedical applications such as biosensors have swiftly advanced in the last few years. The suitability of these devices for such applications has been extensively documented by universities and private laboratories alike. Detection of single molecules is fundamental for enhancing our understanding of delicate biological mechanisms. This would open new promising areas in diagnostics and therapeutics. This paper discusses the simulations and experiments carried out on electric field-induced translocation of polystyrene beads through silicon nitride nanopores. The behavior of the spherical particles suspended in the electrolyte solution to the applied electric field is studied. The use of focusing electrode to focus the charged particles into the centre of the chamber is also discussed. The electric field, the ionic current though the pore, and the translocation time are computed using Femlab simulations and later verified experimentally.

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