Saturday, November 27, 2021

Why don't we just stuff a nanopore into a mass spectrometer?


Nanopores are great because you can push a nucleic acid polymer (or protein) through them exactly one monomer unit at a time, then you can look at what comes out one at a time.

While the separations are super cool, the detection devices are -- from the perspective of someone who regularly utilizes neutron mass discrepancies to quantify things -- meh. 

What if you were to couple what the one thing does well with what the other thing does much much better (with the exception of leucine and it's dumb isomer, I guess)? 

You'd have something like this

For a really thorough walk through of how this works, there is a video from SCP2021 here

For some context, you have to put the nanopore emitter into the instrument. And the size of the pore is about an order of magnitude smaller than the nanoESI emitters that we typically use, but the potential sensitivity gains are absurd. 2 orders is potentially out there. 

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