The goal of this project is to develop bio/chemical sensors based on ion channel proteins. Past efforts to develop similar sensors have been hampered by the complexities of providing both fluidic and electrical access to the ion channels. Here, mesoporous silica, a novel nanostructured material with ordered columnar nanopores, will be used to provide a fluid-porous support for ion channels inserted in a synthetic lipid membrane. Collecting the picoampere-level ion currents requires that the mesoporous layer provides low parasitic capacitance and that the silica-lipid membrane interface has gigaohm-level resistance. The mesoporous layer is self-assembled using dip-coating and electrical performance is evaluated using ion-current measurements and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.
Project end date: 08/18/11