Nanopores have become an important tool for the detection and analysis of molecules at the single-molecule level. Surface modification of solid-state nanopores can improve their durability and efficiency. Peptides are ideal for surface modifications as they allow tailoring of multiple properties by a rational design of their sequence. Here, silicon nitride nanopores were coated by a dipeptide layer where a l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) residue is the anchoring element and the other amino acid moiety is the functional element. DOPA binds tightly to many types of surfaces and allows a one-step functionalization of surfaces by simple immersion. As a result, the lifetime of coated nanopores increased from hours to months and the current-stability has significantly improved with respect to uncoated pores. This improvement is achieved by controlling the surface wettability and charge. Peptide-coated nanopores can be utilized as sensitive sensors that can be adjusted based on the choice of the functional moiety of the coated peptide. In addition, the coating slows down dsDNA translocation because of the DNA interaction with the pore coating.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF grant 1589/14), the ISF-NSFC (grant 2556/17), the Minerva Centre for bio-hybrid complex systems. D.P. thanks the Etta and Paul Schankerman Chair of Molecular Biomedicine.
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