RNA Nanotubes for Single Molecule Sensing and DNA/RNA/Protein Sequencing

Stable, predictably ordered RNA nanopores for disease diagnosis and biopolymer sequencing.

The Need

New rapid and accurate sequencing methods, and disease detection methods are always in high demand. Newer advances in these areas include membrane-anchored structures and synthetics, which allow molecule idenfication and biopolymer sequencing by measuring conductance changes associated with passage of molecules through a given membrane. These cutting-edge technologies can, however, suffer from structural heterogeneity and potentially limited stability. Newer technologies will improve upon both structural homogeneity and stability.

The Technology

Dr. Peixuan Guo and colleagues at The Ohio State University have developed compositions of multimeric RNA nanopore channels for use in molecule sensing and biopolymer sequencing. They have a novel method of anchoring the RNA channel to a membrane, and detecting specific molecules based on electrical conductance changes in the membrane. As a molecule (or monomer in a polymer) passes through the channel and membrane, conductance signatures can be captured and matched with identified signatures for given substances. Using these data, a user can determine the presence of a specific signature compound or even the sequence of protein/RNA/DNA passing through the nanopore.

Commercial Applications

  • Biopolymer sequencing based on monomer conductance: RNA, DNA, protein
  • Detection of specific disease biomarkers


  • RNA nanostructures are self-assembling and predictably ordered, eliminating issues involved in existing heterogenous protein and synthetic nanochannel competitors.
  • RNA nanopores do not aggregate, and remain highly stable under a range of conditions.
  • Pore size and chemical properties can be customized, affording a high degree of application-specific benefits


Patent # Title Country
62/319,108 RNA Nanotubes for Single Molecule Sensing and DNA/RNA/Protein Sequencing United States of America

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