Transport in the Nanoworld
Understanding of nanofluidics has the potential to revolutionise the way in which particle sensing and analysis, and ultimately molecular biology, is done. We seek to manipulate transport of fluid and particles in and around micro- to nano-scale devices, individual pores and porous materials. We use elastomeric tunable nanopores to study a wide range of interesting particles, many for biosensing or of biological origin. Interrogation of single molecules, a long term goal, has inspired physical and chemical modification of tunable nanopores (as manufactured by Izon Science), as well as simultaneous particle sensing using resistive pulses and spectroscopy. We study fluid flow in nanochannels and porous mediausing simulations and experiments – namely an array of gradient NMR methods. More advanced methods using rapid echo planar imaging techniques (to investigate spatial heterogeneity and temporal fluctuation) and multidimensional spin-relaxation and diffusion methods are being developed.