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Nanosensor Detects Single Molecules Using Small Wire

Originally Published MPMN November 2001


Nanosensor Detects Single Molecules Using Small Wire

A flexible molecular sensing system detects an array of analytes using a nanowire that measures 1/10,000 the width of a human hair. Developed by Nanosys Inc. (Cambridge, MA), the nanosensor incorporates specific capture molecules that detect ions, nucleic acids, and proteins in quantities as small as a single molecule. The sensor works like a semiconductor, using changes in electrical conductance to indicate when molecules are captured. Because the substances are measured directly, there is no need for chemical labels or optical equipment.

Small size is among the benefits the sensor offers medical device manufacturers. "This is the first sensor with dimensions close to the size of the substances it is used to detect," says president and CEO Larry Bock. Other benefits include the ability for single-cell detection and the measurement of individual binding events without amplification.

Zachary Turke

Copyright ©2001 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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