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NanoConeTM Technology
NanoCone TM Technology is a proprietary and innovative surface fabrication technology. It fabricates precisely controlled “conical structures” in nanometer scale, hence “NanoCones”. At the very tip of each NanoCone, there is a reactive chemical\ group, through which almost any type of biomolecules can be covalently linked. The most striking characteristics include: 1. The spacing between each NanoCone can be controlled or precisely regulated, instead of randomly arranged; 2. The reactive group and whatever molecule that is connected to it are projected away from the surface to minimize interferences between molecules and to expedite interactions between a probe and target molecules ; and 3. The number of molecules bound to the “tip” is minimized, down to a single molecule, allowing more precise molecule-molecule interaction. The combination of all those attributes ensures that the molecular reactions on the NanoCone surface can be greatly enhanced due to much greatly reduced steric hindrance or interference among the molecules, resulting in “easier”, faster, much more specific molecular reactions. NanoCone surface coated slides have been demonstrated to produce high performance DNA and protein microarrays (biochips) for a variety of research and clinical applications. Nanogea has also applied NanoCone coated Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) tips and target substrate (collectively, NanoCone Enabled Atomic Micrscopy or NE-AFM) for single molecular detection and analysis (see below.)

NanoCone surface can be widely used in other fields such as ELISA, bio/chemical sensor, bead-based assays, affinity-based separation, SPR spectroscopy, etc.

Competing technologies do not achieve probe homogeneity Control of regular spacing between probes provides probe homogeneity and results in high accuracy and reproducibility
High non-specific binding and severe steric hindrance, eventually resulting in low accuracy and reproducibility Minimized steric hindrance between probes and low non-specific binding allow biomolecules to mimic solution-phase behavior
A cone-shaped dendron called NanoCone has a well-defined three-dimensional structure and its size can be changed precisely. When this monodisperse molecule is coated on a surface, branches of the NanoCone form stable chemical bonds with the surface of a substrate, and a functional group at its apex is utilized for immobilization of a bioactive molecule. In addition, these molecules are located on the surface having the regular lateral spacing between them which was directly observed by using a high resolution scanning electron microscope (HRSEM). The average spacing was 3.2 ± 0.4 nm and density 0.05 - 0.06 ea/nm2. Also, in all of the cases, the spacing was larger than 2 nm. Topographical images obtained by AFM) also showed that the resulting layer was smooth and homogeneous without any aggregates or holes in macroscopic scale.
Therefore, the particular topological structure of the employed NanoCone surface allows the optimal spacing between biomolecules on the surface for diagnosis or bioassay. By choosing appropriate size and degree of branching, the spacing can be precisely controlled from 3 up to more than10 nanometers. Also, a stringent choice of chemical structure of its backbone and organic sublayer effectively suppresses undesirable nonspecific binding of various biomolecules.

Langmuir 21, 4257 (2005)
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