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Nat Nanotechnol. 2014 Dec;9(12):969-80. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2014.261.

Advancing the speed, sensitivity and accuracy of biomolecular detection using multi-length-scale engineering.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3M2, Canada.
2
Department of Chemistry, International Institute for Nanotechnology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA.
3
Department of Chemistry, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155, USA.
4
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.
5
Center for Bioengineering in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.
6
Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A4, Canada.

Abstract

Rapid progress in identifying disease biomarkers has increased the importance of creating high-performance detection technologies. Over the last decade, the design of many detection platforms has focused on either the nano or micro length scale. Here, we review recent strategies that combine nano- and microscale materials and devices to produce large improvements in detection sensitivity, speed and accuracy, allowing previously undetectable biomarkers to be identified in clinical samples. Microsensors that incorporate nanoscale features can now rapidly detect disease-related nucleic acids expressed in patient samples. New microdevices that separate large clinical samples into nanocompartments allow precise quantitation of analytes, and microfluidic systems that utilize nanoscale binding events can detect rare cancer cells in the bloodstream more accurately than before. These advances will lead to faster and more reliable clinical diagnostic devices.

PMID:
25466541
PMCID:
PMC4472305
DOI:
10.1038/nnano.2014.261
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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