My sample continually blocks the pore. What can I do to prevent this?

It is possible for the nanopore to become blocked with particles. This can occur for a number of reasons:

  1. When there are large particles, aggregates or debris in the sample.
  2. If the concentration of particles in solution is too high.
  3. The wrong size nanopore has been selected for use.

The following are recommendations to avoid nanopore blocking:

  • If the sample has a large number of extraneous particles that you are not interested in studying, we recommend you filter the sample before measurement.
  • Reducing the concentration of the sample will reduce the occurrence of blockages.
  • If your sample aggregates in the chosen electrolyte, addition of surfactants, sonication and/or reducing electrolyte molarity will reduce unwanted aggregation.
  • Try using a larger nanopore or increasing the stretch applied to the nanopore. Important: Any changes to the nanopore settings (any combination of stretch, voltage, and pressure) will need to be recalibrated.
  • Apply a lower pressure.
  • If working with biological samples, you should use the Izon Reagent Kit components to coat and protect your nanopore from being modified and blocked by proteins and other biological matter present in samples.

    It is important to use clean consumables e.g. pipette tips and tubes, as certain brands of tubes can introduce unwanted contaminants.