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Research Article

Real-time identification of multiple nanoclusters with a protein nanopore in single-cluster level

Ling Zhang1,§Peilei He1,§Huang Chen2,§Qingda Liu1Libo Li2( )Xun Wang1( )Jinghong Li1,3,4,5( )
Department of Chemistry, Center for BioAnalytical Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Guangdong Prov Key Lab Green Chem Prod Technol, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China
New Cornerstone Science Laboratory, Shenzhen 518054, China
Beijing Institute of Life Science and Technology, Beijing 102206, China
Center for BioAnalytical Chemistry, Hefei National Laboratory of Physical Science at Microscale, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China

§ Ling Zhang, Peilei He, and Huang Chen contributed equally to this work.

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Graphical Abstract

The α-hemolysin nanopore provides a single-molecular analytical tool for the real-time identification of polyoxometalate nanoclusters with the precision of several atoms. Microscopic understandings of the nanocluster translocation dynamics were obtained by molecular dynamics simulations.

Abstract

It is important and challenging to analyze nanocluster structure with atomic precision. Herein, α-hemolysin nanopore was used to identify nanoclusters at the single molecule level by providing two-dimensional (2D) dwell time–current blockage spectra and translocation event frequency which sensitively depended on their structures. Nanoclusters such as Anderson, Keggin, Dawson, and a few lacunary Dawson polyoxometalates with very similar structures, even with only a two-atom difference, could be discriminated. This nanopore device could simultaneously measure multiple nanoclusters in a mixture qualitatively and quantitatively. Furthermore, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations provided microscopic understandings of the nanocluster translocation dynamics and yielded 2D dwell time–current blockage spectra in close agreement with experiments. The nanopore platform provides a novel powerful tool for nanocluster characterization.

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Nano Research
Pages 262-269
Cite this article:
Zhang L, He P, Chen H, et al. Real-time identification of multiple nanoclusters with a protein nanopore in single-cluster level. Nano Research, 2024, 17(1): 262-269. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-023-5738-3
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Received: 01 March 2023
Revised: 13 April 2023
Accepted: 13 April 2023
Published: 08 June 2023
© Tsinghua University Press 2023
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