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Development of Nanomechanical Sensors for Breast Cancer Biomarkers

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Annual rept. 15 May 2005-14 May 2006

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Nanotechnology has the potential to develop silicon-based arrays for sensing biomarkers associated with breast cancer. Until recently, breast cancer research has focused on a small number of genes or proteins as primary biomarkers. To develop patient-specific therapy, tailored for each individual, parallel detection of a large number approximately 103-104 of biomarkers may be required. The experience of the semiconductor industry in developing large-scale integrated circuits at very low cost can lead to similar breakthroughs in array sensors for biomolecules of interest to the breast cancer community. Nanotechnology can meet the need for high throughput, sensitive methods for rapidly recording biomarker profiles of tumors in individual patients. The authors report on their efforts to develop arrays of conductance sensors of bio-functionalized silicon nanowires. For nanoscale wires, such as those used in this study, the change is primarily due to the contribution of surface states to the conductance. The fractional change is greatest for the smallest sensors, due to the increased surface-to-volume ratio. The fabrication of arrays of conductance-based sensors has now been done, and the nanosensors have been characterized using model systems. The utility of these newly fabricated sensors to actual clinical breast cancer practice now remains the main goal of their project.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems
  • Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors

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