Nanopore-induced spontaneous concentration for optofluidic sensing and particle assembly

Shailabh Kumar, Nathan J. Wittenberg, Sang Hyun Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Metallic nanopore arrays have emerged as optofluidic platforms with multifarious sensing and analytical capabilities such as label-free surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensing of molecular binding interactions and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). However, directed delivery of analytes through open nanopores using traditional methods such as external electric fields or pressure gradients still remains difficult. We demonstrate that nanopore arrays have an intrinsic ability to promote flow through them via capillary flow and evaporation. This passive "nano-drain" mechanism is utilized to concentrate biomolecules on the surface of nanopores for improved detection sensitivity or create ordered nanoscale arrays of beads and liposomes. Without using any external pump or fluidic interconnects, we can concentrate and detect the presence of less than a femtomole of streptavidin in 10 μL of sample using fluorescence imaging. Liposome nanoarrays are also prepared in less than 5 min and used to detect lipid-protein interactions. We also demonstrate label-free SPR detection of analytes using metallic nanopore arrays. This method provides a fast, simple, transportable, and small-volume platform for labeled as well as label-free plasmonic analysis while improving the detection time and sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-977
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2013


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