Tuesday, December 16, 2008

US Patent 7465381 - Nanochannel molecular sorting

US Patent 7465381

Microfluidics allows for the sensing and manipulating DNA with a smaller sample size. this patent from the University of New Mexico teaches the next step into nanofluidics by using nanochannels such as carbon nanotubes in sorting individual molecules. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for separation of molecules in at least one nanochannel comprising:

providing at least one nanochannel having charged nanochannel walls;

providing an electrolyte solution to the at least one nanochannel so that an electrical double layer forms near the charged nanochannel walls;

introducing a mixture of at least two different types of molecules into at least one nanochannel;

allowing electroosmosis through at least one nanochannel to transport at least one of the at least two molecule types within the nanochannel and to separate at least two different types of molecules within the nanochannel.