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    During the past few decades, bio-inspired nanochannels have been well developed and applied in biosensing, energy transfer, separation, and so on. Here, inspired by the synergistic effect of biological nanopores, biomimetic solid-state nanochannels with hydrophilic DNA probes at the inner wall (DNA@IWHydrophilic ) and hydrophobic coating at the outer surface (None@OSHydrophobic ) are designed. To demonstrate their prompted sensing properties, Hg2+ and its specific probe are selected as target and hydrophilic DNA probes, respectively. Compared with the traditional solid-state nanochannels with hydrophilic probes distributed on both the inner wall and outer surface, the nanochannels with DNA@IWHydrophilic +None@OSHydrophobic significantly decrease the limit of detection (LOD) by 105 -fold. The obvious improvement of sensitivity (with LOD of 1 nM) is attributed to the synergistic effect: None@OSHydrophobic results in the nanochannel's effective diameter decrease and DNA@IWHydrophilic induces a specific sensing target. Meanwhile, nanomolar detection of Hg2+ in human serum and in vivo fish muscle are achieved. Through molecular dynamics simulation, the synergistic effect can be confirmed by ion fluxes increasement; the relative carbon nanotube increases from 135.64% to 135.84%. This work improves the understanding of nanochannels' synergistic effect and provides a significant insight for nanochannels with improved sensitivity. © 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


    Lingxiao Liu, Cihui Luo, Jinhuan Zhang, Xiao He, Ying Shen, Bing Yan, Yu Huang, Fan Xia, Lei Jiang. Synergistic Effect of Bio-Inspired Nanochannels: Hydrophilic DNA Probes at Inner Wall and Hydrophobic Coating at Outer Surface for Highly Sensitive Detection. Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany). 2022 Sep;18(37):e2201925

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    PMID: 35980948

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