Highlights of our Work
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Nanopores are promising new sensors, which may soon sequence DNA in a cheap and fast way (see Nov 2005 and Oct 2004 highlights) and control the flow of ions in nanodevices (see Dec 2009 and Mar 2009 highlights). In measurements, DNA molecules and ions pass through the nanopores which are only a nanometer (0.000001 mm) wide. Unfortunately, researchers have to battle clogging of the very narrow nanopores. For example, it was found that small concentrations of so-called divalent cations produce clogging of plastic nanopores. To figure out how to prevent clogging, researchers needed a microscopic view of the process. Such view was furnished through molecular dynamics simulations, based on NAMD, of ion conducting nanopores. In a recent study, an atomic-level view of the clogging process, revealing the formation of tiny ionic crystals inside the nanopore, was offered. The view suggests a remedy against nanopore clogging. More information can be found in our polymeric nanopore website.