A nanopore is an opening of nanometer proportions that is found in nature but has also become popular in organic and solid-state detection devices. Solid-state nanopores are used in single particle analysis and detection. These particles can range from a variety of bio molecules such as DNA or viruses.
When an electric potential is applied across the membrane, an ionic current begins to flow through the nanopore. The particles in question begin to flow through the nanopore. When a particle passes through the nanopore, it causes disruptions in the current and causes it to drop. The molecule is then identified based off of the current that was measured.
Nanopores have real potential for future biomedical detection devices, from early stage detection of life-threatening diseases to every day diagnoses of common cold or flu illnesses.