Donate to Science & Enterprise

S&E on Mastodon

S&E on LinkedIn

S&E on Flipboard

Please share Science & Enterprise

U.K. Company Licenses Harvard Graphene DNA Technology

Graphene molecular illustration (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

Graphene molecular illustration (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. in Oxford, U.K. said today it signed a licensing agreement with Harvard University to commercialize graphene technology from Harvard’s labs for DNA sequencing. The company already has a deal with Harvard’s technology transfer office to develop basic sensing methods through solid-state nanopores.

Graphene is a robust, single-atom thick lattice of carbon with high electrical conductivity. Oxford Nanopore says these properties make it an ideal material for high resolution, nanopore-based sequencing of single DNA molecules.

Under the agreement, Oxford Nanopore will get exclusive rights to develop and commercialize methods for the use of graphene for the analysis of DNA and RNA, developed in the labs of Harvard faculty Jene Golovchenko, Daniel Branton, and Charles Lieber. The company says it will also continue to support fundamental nanopore research at Harvard.

Golovchenko and Branton were among the authors of a September 2010 article in the journal Nature (paid subscription required) that showed how graphene could be used to separate two chambers containing ionic solutions, and create a hole — a nanopore — in the graphene. The group demonstrated that the graphene nanopore could serve as a trans-electrode, measuring a current flowing through the nanopore between two chambers. The variations in this measurement could then result in a characteristic electrical signal reflecting the size and nature of the DNA molecule.

Oxford Nanopore is developing a technology for direct, electronic detection, and analysis of single molecules using nanopores. The company’s lead application is DNA sequencing, and has licensed technologies developed at Oxford and other universities, as well as Harvard.

Read more: Graphene-Based Material Developed with Teflon Properties

*     *     *

Comments are closed.