Hybrid pore formation by directed insertion of α-haemolysin into solid-state nanopores

Adam R. Hall, Andrew Scott, Dvir Rotem, Kunal K. Mehta, Hagan Bayley, Cees Dekker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Scopus citations


Most experiments on nanopores have concentrated on the pore-forming protein α-haemolysin (αHL)1 and on artificial pores in solid-state membranes2. While biological pores offer an atomically precise structure3 and the potential for genetic engineering 4, solid-state nanopores offer durability, size and shape control5, and are also better suited for integration into wafer-scale devices. However, each system has significant limitations: αHL is difficult to integrate because it relies on delicate lipid bilayers for mechanical support, and the fabrication of solid-state nanopores with precise dimensions remains challenging. Here we show that these limitations may be overcome by inserting a single αHL pore into a solid-state nanopore. A double-stranded DNA attached to the protein pore is threaded into a solid-state nanopore by electrophoretic translocation. Protein insertion is observed in 30-40% of our attempts, and translocation of single-stranded DNA demonstrates that the hybrid nanopore remains functional. The hybrid structure offers a platform to create wafer-scale device arrays for genomic analysis, including sequencing6.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)874-877
Number of pages4
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 201418 (READNA), the NanoSci Eþ program and the European Research Council. K.M. was supported by a Whitaker Foundation fellowship. The authors wish to thank M. Salichou for assistance with engineering of the αHL proteins.


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