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To COVID-19 Detection: How physics can be used to create novel tests for viruses

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DNA nanotechnology is transformative for experiments that require molecular control over the shape of nanometer-sized objects. In combination with nanopores, DNA self-assembly allows for novel experiments that reveal the physics of ions, and polymers on the single-molecule level.

Nanopore sensing, best known for DNA sequencing, translates the three-dimensional structure of molecules into ionic current signals. Designed DNA molecules enable multiplexed protein sensing with an all-electrical approach. Here, Professor Ulrich Keyser will discuss his group’s recent developments to detect and localize structures as accurately as possible along DNA molecules approaching super-resolution microscopy. The localization is enabled by a quantitative understanding of polymer dynamics in our glass nanopores which enables it to extract position information to a few ten base pairs. In the last part of the talk, he will explain how we used our knowledge on single-molecules and nanopores to crate a novel test for viruses and their variants that may play a role in (the prevention of) future pandemics.

This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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