NER: Bottom-up Assembly of Nanomechanical Biosensing Arrays

Project: Research project

Project Details


Professors Christine Keating and Theresa Mayer of Pennsylvania State University are supported by the Analytical and Surface Chemistry Program and the Nanotechnology Initiative to develop a novel biosensing strategy in which a nanomechanical transducer array is built from the bottom-up, by integrating nanobiosensor elements onto a CMOS chip. Sensing is accomplished by measuring a shift in the resonance frequency of nanowires due to the mass change associated with DNA hybridization. The DNA derivitization will guarantee high detection selectivity, while the nanometer scale dimensions of the resonant cantilevers will provide high sensitivity. This exploratory project will focus on the incorporation of DNA molecules onto the nanowires before alignment and integration and show that their bioactivity is retained, and sensitivity will be demonstrated. In addition to training graduate students in this collaborative environment between chemistry and chemical engineering, two undergraduates will also be involved as part of a Research Experience for Undergraduates Supplement.

The project has the potential to impact several fields including trace detection and biosensing for food safety, national security, forensics and medical diagnostics. Introduction of the nanoscale in these applications is desired for low cost, rugged and miniaturized devices.

Effective start/end date9/1/032/28/05


  • National Science Foundation: $100,000.00


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