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Recent patent applications in single-molecule technologies

Over the last 10 years, single-molecule research and nano-biosensor tools have emerged as a new class of analytical and ultrasensitive technology for the design of next-generation methods capable of identifying and discriminating between individual molecules. A panel of inventions in this field recently disclosed to patent offices worldwide by biotechnology companies and public research agencies is detailed herein (Table 1).

Table 1 Recent patent applications in single-molecule technologies

The ambitious goal of sequencing individual human genomes for about $1,000 apiece is likely to be achieved within the next few years. One of the best candidates is the nanopore platform, whose ability to detect and manipulate chemical and molecular entities (such as nucleic acids) at a very-high-resolution, or 'single-molecule', level is one of the bridges linking together chemistry, nanomaterial science, cellular and molecular biology and biophysics. This promises to have a considerable impact on biotechnology, with clear applications for the real world.

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The author acknowledges the Bionanosciences group and HEA, PRTLI5, Nanoremedies program for financial support and research infrastructure.

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Correspondence to Julien Muzard.

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Muzard, J. Recent patent applications in single-molecule technologies. Nat Biotechnol 30, 245 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.2148

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