Micro/Nanofluidic BioMEMS Group :: Professor Jongyoon Han


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Microfabricated Nanofluidic Sieving Structures for Rapid Biomolecule Separation

Jianping Fu, Hansen Bow, Pan Mao, Reto B. Schoch

Biomolecule separation is a fundamental analytical and preparative technique in biology, medicine, chemistry, and industry. Fractionation of biological molecules, such as nucleic acids and proteins, plays a central role in genomic analysis. In the new challenge of systems biology, as well as in the application of biomarker detection and biosensing, this task becomes even more important because solving the puzzle of interactions between proteins is far more complicated than deciphering genomes, due to the lack of protein's equivalent of amplification, fractionation and sequencing techniques.


This project seeks to use microfabricated regular nanofluidic filters (nanofilters) as controllable sieving medium for size- or charge-based fractionation of various biologically relevant macromolecules, such as ds DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides. Using standard microfabrication techniques, we have precisely fabricated nanofilters with gap thickness down to the vicinity of 10 nm. In such molecular-scale confining structures, molecular transport properties are largely affected by the steric constraints of nanofluidic structures.


In this project, we construct different nanofilter based separation devices and explore the steric and electrostatic partitioning of biomolecules with the nanofilter for size- or charge-fractionation of various biologically relevant macromolecules. In the proposed separation systems, unlike other conventional random nanoporous sieving materials, the nanofilters can be made uniform and controllable, also chemical groups on the wall can be tailored. In addition to the application of biomolecule separation, the nanofilter based artificial sieving structures provide an ideal platform for the theoretical study of molecular dynamics and stochastic motion in confining spaces because of their precisely characterized environments.


Movie links:

  1. Schoch, R. B., Fu, J., Bow, H. & Han, J. MicroScale Bioseparation 2007 Symposium, Vancouver, Canada.
  2. Fu, J.*, Schoch, R. B.*, Stevens, A. L., Tannenbaum, S. R. & Han, J. Nature Nanotech. 2, 121-128 (2007). (pdf)
  3. Bow, H., Fu, J., Rothman, C. & Han, J. Anal. Chem., submitted (2006).
  4. Fu, J. & Han, J. Proceedings of the MicroTAS 2006 Symposium, Tokyo, Japan, vol. 1, pp. 519-521. (pdf)
  5. Fu, J., Yoo, J. & Han, J. Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 018103.1-3 (2006). (pdf‡)
  6. Fu, J., Mao, P. & Han, J. Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 263902.1-3 (2005). (pdf†)
  7. Fu, J. & Han, J. American Physical Society National March Meeting 2006, Baltimore, Maryland. (pdf)
  8. Fu, J. & Han, J. Proceedings of the MicroTAS 2005 Symposium, Boston, MA, vol. 2, pp. 1531-1533. (pdf)
  9. Fu, J. & Han, J. 2005 Gordon Research Conf. on the Physics and Chemistry of Microfluidics, Oxford, UK.
  10. Fu, J. & Han, J. MicroScale Bioseparation 2005 Symposium, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  11. Fu, J. & Han, J. Proceedings of the MicroTAS 2004 Symposium, Malmo, Sweden, vol. 1, pp. 285-287.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

† Copyright by American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

‡ Copyright by the American Physical Society.

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