Solid-State Nanopore Sensors for Biomolecular Characterization and Digital Diagnostics

Who: Prof. Vincent Tabard-Cossa, Department of Physics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. E-mail:

When: October 6, 2021 at 11:30 am

Where: Zoom. Request the link by email.

Ce séminaire est présenté en anglais uniquement.


Many emerging applications in diverse areas such as medical diagnostics and molecular information storage make use of DNA nanotechnology (nanostructures self-assembled via specific base pairing of DNA) to deliver small molecules, detect disease biomarkers, or encode digital information. In this talk, I will discuss how we have been designing DNA nanostructures and studying their transport dynamics1 through solid-state nanopores to develop different applications. Solid-state nanopores are nanoscale pores formed in thin solid-state membranes that are emerging as versatile sensors to electrically characterize a range of biomolecules at the single-molecule level. In particular, I will present how counting single molecules with nanopores2 combined with DNA nanostructures can be used to develop digital schemes capable of precisely quantifying the concentration of protein biomarkers in complex biofluids3 – opening opportunities for future generation of precision diagnostic platforms compatible with point-of-care use.

[1] He & Karau et al.Fast Capture and Multiplexed Detection of Short Multi-Arm DNA Stars in Solid-State Nanopores.” Nanoscale 2019, 11 (35), 16342–16350; [2] Charron et al. “Precise DNA Concentration Measurements with Nanopores by Controlled Counting.” Analytical Chemistry 2019, 91 (19), 12228–12237. [3] He & Tessier et al. “Digital Immunoassay for Biomarker Concentration Quantification Using Solid-State Nanopores.” Nature Communications 2021, 12, 5348.

Speaker Bio

Vincent Tabard-Cossa is an associate professor in the Department of Physics, at the University of Ottawa, in Ottawa since 2010. His research program is dedicated to the development of novel techniques and methods to manipulate and characterize single molecules using nanofluidic devices, to unravel the basic physics governing the behaviour of biological molecules in nanoconfined geometries, and ultimately to translate these discoveries into new tools for the health and life sciences. He is known for the pioneering of a simple, yet remarkably precise nanofabrication technique for making nanopores in thin solid-state membranes, which is helping to democratize nanopore-based research. In 2020, he founded a company, Northern Nanopore Instruments, that specializes in research tools and solutions to support fundamental and applied research on solid-state nanopores.

T.-Cossa LAB website

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