Garrett Wong: Pore Characterization and Event Detection in Solid-State Nanopores

Student's Name: 
Garrett Wong
Advisor's Name: 
William Dunbar
Home University: 
Harvey Mudd College
PDF icon Project Poster1.49 MB
PDF icon Project Report1.19 MB
DNA sequencing is an essential tool in the modern biologist's toolkit,
allowing scientists to look at the blueprint by which life is built.
However, modern DNA sequencing machines are enormous, and
prohibitively expensive for all but elite research institutions. This
prevents biologists from bringing sequencing technology into the

Recently, nanopores have been used to create a much smaller and less
expensive sequencing platform. However, current nanopore sequencing
technology relies on a protein which is relatively unstable, and can
fail if subjected to heat or shaken.

Solid-state nanopore technology attempts to alleviate this problem by
using a synthetic silicon-based pore instead of a protein one. A
sequencing platform based on a solid-state nanopore would be portable
and robust to mechanical, chemical, and temperature stress.

Such a device could be thrown in a box, shipped wherever, taken out of
the box, quickly set up almost anywhere, and ready to sequence in the
field. This would bring the sequencing technology of a
state-of-the-art biology laboratory where it's needed most, whether it
be for genotyping of patients of physicians in rural Kenya or for the
rapid genetic identification of new subspecies of bees by field
biologists in Tibet.

Professor William Dunbar at UCSC has worked to bring solid-state
nanopores to the level of protein-mediated nanopores by developing
systems that can easily and reliably control and sense DNA in
solid-state pores.