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Hydrophobic Gating in nanochannels: understanding single channel mechanisms for designing better nanoscale sensors

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 HyGate project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the HyGate project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "HyGate" about.

applicability    electric    biosensors    flux    dna    extreme    nanopore    bio    water    bubbles    instrumental    nanoscale    biological    tools    mechanism    stepwise    nanofluidic    frequency    confined    unravel    inspire    ions    species    gases    dynamics    dramatic    plethora    designing    conformation    behavior    transition    opening    synthetic    selectivity    physical    strategies    theory    lower    quantitative    nanodevices    nanoconfined    sought    nanochannels    compliance    hydrophobicity    electrical    nucleation    model    fundamental    circuits    sequencing    exquisite    solid    unexplored    rare    suggest    limiting    hygate    influence    ion    molecular    phenomenon    deploy    external    simulation    largely    cell    conspire    hydrophobic    confinement    radically    insights    environments    molecules    nanopores    hindered    theoretical    closing    pressure    event    interior    vapor    probability    sensing    noise    gate    inactivation    innovative    nanobubbles    channels    mechanisms    gating   

Project "HyGate" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
city: ROMA
postcode: 185

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Total cost 1˙496˙250 €
 EC max contribution 1˙496˙250 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-02-01   to  2024-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Hydrophobic gating is the phenomenon by which the flux of ions or other molecules through biological ion channels or synthetic nanopores is hindered by the formation of nanoscale bubbles. Recent studies suggest that this is a generic mechanism for the inactivation of a plethora of ion channels, which are all characterized by a strongly hydrophobic interior. The conformation, compliance, and hydrophobicity of the nanochannels – in addition to external parameters such as electric potential, pressure, presence of gases – have a dramatic influence on the probability of opening and closing of the gate. This largely unexplored confined phase transition is known to cause low frequency noise in solid-state nanopores used for DNA sequencing and sensing, limiting their applicability. In biological channels, hydrophobic gating might conspire in determining the high selectivity towards a specific ions or molecules, a characteristic which is sought for in biosensors. The objective of HyGate is to unravel the fundamental mechanisms of hydrophobic gating in model nanopores and biological ion channels and exploit their understanding in order to design biosensors with lower noise and higher selectivity. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, I will deploy the one-of-a-kind simulation and theoretical tools I developed to study vapor nucleation in extreme confinement, which comprises rare-event molecular dynamics and confined nucleation theory. These quantitative tools will be instrumental in designing better biosensors and nanodevices which avoid the formation of nanobubbles or exploit them to achieve exquisite species selectivity. The novel physical insights into the behavior of water in complex nanoconfined environments are expected to inspire radically innovative strategies for nanopore sensing and nanofluidic circuits and to promote a stepwise advancement in the fundamental understanding of hydrophobic gating mechanisms and their influence on bio-electrical cell response.

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The information about "HYGATE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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