Capture of a Single Molecule in a Nanocavity

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Science  26 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5504, pp. 636-640
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5504.636

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We describe a heptameric protein pore that has been engineered to accommodate two different cyclodextrin adapters simultaneously within the lumen of a transmembrane β barrel. The volume between the adapters is a cavity of ∼4400 cubic angstroms. Analysis of single-channel recordings reveals that individual charged organic molecules can be pulled into the cavity by an electrical potential. Once trapped, an organic molecule shuttles back and forth between the adapters for hundreds of milliseconds. Such self-assembling nanostructures are of interest for the fabrication of multianalyte sensors and could provide a means to control chemical reactions.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this report.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: bayley{at}

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