Stochastic sensors inspired by biology

Nature. 2001 Sep 13;413(6852):226-30. doi: 10.1038/35093038.


Sensory systems use a variety of membrane-bound receptors, including responsive ion channels, to discriminate between a multitude of stimuli. Here we describe how engineered membrane pores can be used to make rapid and sensitive biosensors with potential applications that range from the detection of biological warfare agents to pharmaceutical screening. Notably, use of the engineered pores in stochastic sensing, a single-molecule detection technology, reveals the identity of an analyte as well as its concentration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques* / instrumentation
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Ion Channels
  • Models, Biological
  • Stochastic Processes


  • Ion Channels