Physics comes to Life: Where nanotechnology and biomedical sciences meet

Nanobiotechnology is a young research field in which nano-sized artificial structures are combined with natural biological systems. One of many possible applications is to use a nanopore for electrically sequencing DNA. To realistically model and study such a setup in the computer, requires the synergy of a broad range of methods. Specifically, molecular dynamics simulations are used to explore the movement of a DNA molecule in the confined aqueous environment of a nanopore channel; density functional theory can help to determine the electronic structure of the nano-bio device; and quantum transport methods allow the calculation of electrical conductance and currents which constitute the output signal to distinguish between the four different bases in DNA.  


Ralph Scheicher