Detection of 1-nm-size small drug molecules with nanopores (ibuprofen and sulfamethoxazole)

We used nanopores for detection of 1-nm-size small drugs, ibuprofen (33 atoms) and sulfamethoxazole (28 atoms), by binding them to a protein (BSA), otherwise they are directly undetectable. Both are used for treating pain and inflammation, and bind to BSA efficiently. One reason why this is relevant and the idea can be extended to other small drugs is that unused pills dumped into toilets, and medications excreted through urine, end up in some amounts in our water supply even after treatments and have consequences on living organisms. Zehui Xia, et al., “Protein-enabled detection of ibuprofen and sulfamethoxazole using solid-state nanopores”, Proteomics, 2022, 2100071.

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