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Trends Biotechnol. 2000 Apr;18(4):147-51.

Nanopores and nucleic acids: prospects for ultrarapid sequencing.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.
  • 2U CA, Santa Cruz


DNA and RNA molecules can be detected as they are driven through a nanopore by an applied electric field at rates ranging from several hundred microseconds to a few milliseconds per molecule. The nanopore can rapidly discriminate between pyrimidine and purine segments along a single-stranded nucleic acid molecule. Nanopore detection and characterization of single molecules represents a new method for directly reading information encoded in linear polymers. If single-nucleotide resolution can be achieved, it is possible that nucleic acid sequences can be determined at rates exceeding a thousand bases per second.

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