A generalizable nanopore sensor for highly specific protein detection at single-molecule precision

Mohammad Ahmad, Jeung Hoi Ha, Lauren A. Mayse, Maria F. Presti, Aaron J. Wolfe, Kelsey J. Moody, Stewart N. Loh, Liviu Movileanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Protein detection has wide-ranging implications in molecular diagnostics. Substantial progress has been made in protein analytics using nanopores and the resistive-pulse technique. Yet, a long-standing challenge is implementing specific interfaces for detecting proteins without the steric hindrance of the pore interior. Here, we formulate a class of sensing elements made of a programmable antibody-mimetic binder fused to a monomeric protein nanopore. This way, such a modular design significantly expands the utility of nanopore sensors to numerous proteins while preserving their architecture, specificity, and sensitivity. We prove the power of this approach by developing and validating nanopore sensors for protein analytes that drastically vary in size, charge, and structural complexity. These analytes produce unique electrical signatures that depend on their identity and quantity and the binder-analyte assembly at the nanopore tip. The outcomes of this work could impact biomedical diagnostics by providing a fundamental basis for biomarker detection in biofluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1374
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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