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Nanopore Stochastic Detection of a Liquid Explosive Component and Sensitizers Using Boromycin and an Ionic Liquid Supporting Electrolyte

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2009, 00:00 by Dilani A. Jayawardhana, Jeffrey A. Crank, Qitao Zhao, Daniel W. Armstrong, Xiyun Guan
We report a rapid and sensitive stochastic nanopore sensing method for the detection of monovalent cations and liquid explosive components and their sensitizers. The sensing element is a wild-type α-hemolysin protein pore with boromycin as a molecular adaptor, while a solution containing an ionic liquid was used as the background electrolyte. The analyte−boromycin complexes showed significantly different signatures. Specifically, their event mean dwell times and amplitudes were sufficiently distinct to permit the convenient differentiation and even simultaneous detection of liquid explosive components in aqueous environments. In addition, the results also demonstrate that the usage of specific ionic liquid salt solutions instead of NaCl or KCl solution as supporting electrolyte provides a useful means to greatly enhance the sensitivity of the nanopore for some analytes in stochastic sensing.