Biomathematics / Computational Biology Colloquium

Computer simulations of a nanoparticle translocating through a nanopore

Speaker: Maria Gracheva, Department of Physics, Clarkson University

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1314

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 12:30 p.m.


In recent years, various solid state membranes equipped with a single nanopore have been used as biomolecular detectors and filters. This nanometer-size aperture that can be used to selectively permeate nanosize objects such as ions, nanoparticles and biomolecules (proteins and DNA in particular) for biomolecular detection, separation of species, and even sequencing. Frequently, the ionic current blockades recorded as an object translocates through the pore are used to identify, for example, protein and RNA molecules, nanoparticles and perform DNA sequencing We use a Brownian dynamics approach, in conjunction with a full three-dimensional self-consistent solution of the Poisson–Nernst–Planck and Navier–Stockes system of equations to describe realistic ionic current response arising due to the random motion of a nanoparticle through a nanopore. By performing statistical analysis of the current traces, we observe that, in general, smaller current blockade values correspond to faster translocation times, while increased dwell times result in a larger current decrease. Other recent projects involving a translocating protein or a DNA will be discussed as well.