Research | Stochastic sensing and ultrarapid DNA sequencing

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We have engineered many variants of the α-hemolysin protein pore for single molecule detection (stochastic sensing), which is effected by monitoring the modulation of the ionic current passing through the pore. Stochastic sensing allows the analysis of a wide variety of analytes: metal cations, small organic molecules, nucleic acids, proteins, &c.

We are also investigating the use of protein pores for sequencing single molecules of DNA and RNA, and a spin-out company Oxford Nanopore focuses on this technology ( A critical issue is the implementation of highly parallel analyte detection and sequencing, and we are currently attempting to develop technologies that will allow simultaneous recording from thousands of protein nanopores.

Research papers:
Harrington, L., Cheley, S. Alexander, L.T., Knapp, S. and Bayley, H. Stochastic detection of Pim kinases reveals electrostatically enhanced association of a peptide substrate. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110, E4417-E4426 (2013).

Huang, S., Romero-Ruiz, M., Castell, O.K., Bayley, H., and Wallace, M.I. High-throughput optical sensing of nucleic acids in a nanopore array. Nature Nanotechnology 10, 986-991 (2015). DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2015.189

Bayley, H. Nanopore sequencing: from imagination to reality. Clinical Chemistry 61, 25-31 (2015). DOI: 10.1373/clinchem.2014.223016