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Comparative advantages of mechanical biosensors

Arlett, J. L. and Myers, E. B. and Roukes, M. L. (2011) Comparative advantages of mechanical biosensors. Nature Nanotechnology, 6 (4). pp. 203-215. ISSN 1748-3387. PMCID PMC3839312. doi:10.1038/nnano.2011.44.

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Mechanical interactions are fundamental to biology. Mechanical forces of chemical origin determine motility and adhesion on the cellular scale, and govern transport and affinity on the molecular scale. Biological sensing in the mechanical domain provides unique opportunities to measure forces, displacements and mass changes from cellular and subcellular processes. Nanomechanical systems are particularly well matched in size with molecular interactions, and provide a basis for biological probes with single-molecule sensitivity. Here we review micro- and nanoscale biosensors, with a particular focus on fast mechanical biosensing in fluid by mass- and force-based methods, and the challenges presented by non-specific interactions. We explain the general issues that will be critical to the success of any type of next-generation mechanical biosensor, such as the need to improve intrinsic device performance, fabrication reproducibility and system integration. We also discuss the need for a greater understanding of analyte–sensor interactions on the nanoscale and of stochastic processes in the sensing environment.

Item Type:Article
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Roukes, M. L.0000-0002-2916-6026
Additional Information:© 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Published online 27 March 2011. The authors thank the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (HR00110610043 and N66001-08-1-2043) and the Fondation pour la Recherche et l’Enseignement Superieur for support. M.L.R. acknowledges a Director’s Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health (1DP1OD006924). We also thank P. Puget for many discussions.
Group:Kavli Nanoscience Institute
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)HR00110610043
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)N66001-08-1-2043
Fondation pour la Recherche et l'Enseignement SuperieurUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Nanobiotechnology; Nanosensors and other devices; NEMS
Issue or Number:4
PubMed Central ID:PMC3839312
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110422-135131746
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23429
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:22 Apr 2011 22:57
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:14

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