Translating Biomolecular Recognition into Nanomechanics

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Science  14 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5464, pp. 316-318
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5464.316

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We report the specific transduction, via surface stress changes, of DNA hybridization and receptor-ligand binding into a direct nanomechanical response of microfabricated cantilevers. Cantilevers in an array were functionalized with a selection of biomolecules. The differential deflection of the cantilevers was found to provide a true molecular recognition signal despite large nonspecific responses of individual cantilevers. Hybridization of complementary oligonucleotides shows that a single base mismatch between two 12-mer oligonucleotides is clearly detectable. Similar experiments on protein A–immunoglobulin interactions demonstrate the wide-ranging applicability of nanomechanical transduction to detect biomolecular recognition.

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