Graphene allows nano & # 39; tweezers & # 39; that can grab individual biomolecules – tech2.org

Graphene allows nano & # 39; tweezers & # 39; that can grab individual biomolecules



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Researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Science and Engineering have created tiny graphene-based electronic "clamps" that can trap biomolecules that float in water with extraordinary efficiency. According to the team, this could lead to a revolutionary portable disease diagnosis system that could run on a smartphone.

  Graphene allows nano & # 39; tweezers & # 39; that can grab individual biomolecules "title =" Graphene allows nano & # 39; tweezers & # 39; that can grab individual biomolecules "/> </p>
<p>  Graphene clamps are said to be much more effective in trapping particles compared to other techniques used in the past due to the extremely thin nature of graphene.The physical principle of clamping or catching Nanoscale objects, known as dielectrophoresis, have been known for a long time and are commonly practiced using a pair of metal electrodes, however, from the point of view of the molecules of grip, metal electrodes are very blunt. They simply lack the "sharpness" to pick up and control the nanometer-object scale. </p>
<p>  <!--break--> "Graphene is the thinnest material ever discovered, and it is this property that allows us to make these clips so efficient. "To build efficient electronic clamps to grasp biomolecules, we basically have to create miniaturized lightning rods and concentrate a large amount of electrical flow at the sharp point. The edges of graphene are the clearest lightning rods. "</p>
<p>  The team also demonstrated that graphene clips could be used for a wide range of physical and biological applications by trapping semiconducting nanocrystals, nanodiamond particles and even DNA molecules. bursting would require high voltages, restricting it to a laboratory environment, but graphene clamps can trap small DNA molecules at about 1 volt, which means that this could work on portable devices such as mobile phones. </p>
<p>  The team did The graphene forceps by creating a sandwich structure where a thin insulating material called hafnium dioxide is sandwiched between a metal electrode on one side and graphene on the other.Hafnium dioxide is a material commonly used in advanced microchips current. "One of the best things about graphene is that it is compatible with standard processing tools in the semiconductor industry, which will greatly facilitate the commercialization of these devices in the future, "the team said. </p>
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<p>  Another interesting aspect of this technology, which separates graphene clamps from metal-based devices, is that graphene can also "feel" trapped biomolecules. In other words, the tweezers can be used as biosensors with extreme sensitivity that can be displayed using simple electronic techniques. </p>
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