When looking for nucleic acids (DNA, etc) within human fluid samples, there’s quite a bit of work required for separating the target molecules from everything else. Thankfully, nucleic acids are pretty small compared to many other molecules within our bodies and they have fibrous shapes, something that researchers at University of California, Davis took advantage of.
They created a nanoporous gold material that is able to pass nucleic acids through it, while larger and differently shaped molecules get blocked and never make it to the other side. This allow the material to be used to quickly extract DNA, RNA, and other genetic molecules from natural body fluid samples and perform disease detection quickly. It would also help introduce genetic disease diagnostics in places where traditional laboratory equipment is impractical.
Papers in journal Analytical Chemistry: Effect of Nanoporous Gold Thin Film Morphology on Electrochemical DNA Sensing and Biofouling-Resilient Nanoporous Gold Electrodes for DNA Sensing
Source: UC Davis…