The LOEWE Research Cluster iNAPO is divided into four project areas. They carry out fundamental work on design, construction, functional understanding and integration in technical devices of ion-conducting nanopores in modified polymers.
Project Areas iNAPO:
Project area 1 develops methods to introduce nanopores in polymer films with a combination of ion track technology and chemical etching. These synthetic nanopores are subjected to different organic chemical modifications to gain sensory properties. In particular they can serve as a platform for biological nanopores with high sensitivity and selectivity. These membranes are to be integrated by Micro-Nano-Integration (MNI) technology in a lab-on-chip device.
In project area 2 proteins are modified by genetic and protein engineering so that they have new sensor and switching characteristics. Cooperation between project areas 1 and 2 should lead to a stable integration of biological pores into the solid-state pores and /or that protein components for switching or sensing can be used in solid-state pores.
Project area 3 uses high resolution NMR methods and theoretical approaches to analyze fundamental physico-chemical principles for ion transport in porous materials and the interaction of ions with material interfaces. The results from project area 3 will be used to design pores in the project areas 1 and 2.
In project area 4 already existing pore systems and new systems, that are developed in the other project areas, are coupled to microelectronic systems to register electrical signals on a miniature scale.