The Rapid Micro Blog

Our blog will keep you informed of new and noteworthy technologies, reviews of recent publications and presentations, upcoming conferences and training events, and what's changing in the rapid and alternative microbiological methods world.

Micro- and nanocantilever devices and systems for biomolecule detection

I recently came across a review article on the use of micro and nanocantilevers as a rapid way of detecting the presence of a variety of microorganisms. A microcantilever is a device that can act as a physical, chemical or biological sensor by detecting changes in cantilever bending or vibrational frequency. It is the miniaturized counterpart of a diving board that moves up and down at a regular interval based on mass. The mass changes when contaminants land on the devices, causing them to vibrate at a different "resonant frequency, " which can be quickly detected. The authors are from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. Their abstract is provided below:

Micro- and nanocantilever devices and systems for biomolecule detection. Hwang KS, Lee SM, Kim SK, Lee JH, Kim TS. Annu Rev Anal Chem (Palo Alto Calif). 2009; 2:77-98.

Recent research trends in biosensing have been geared toward developing bioanalytical devices that are label free, small in size, and portable and that can operate in a rapid manner. The performance of these devices has been dramatically improved through the advent of new materials and micro-/nanofabrication technologies. This is especially true for micro-/nanosized cantilever sensors, which undergo a change in mechanical properties upon the specific binding of biomolecules. In this review, we introduce the basic principles of cantilever biosensors in static and dynamic modes. We also summarize a range of approaches to cantilever design, fabrication, and instrumentation according to their applications. More specifically, we describe cantilever-based detections of proteins, DNA molecules, bacteria, and viruses and discuss current challenges related to the targets' biophysical characteristics.

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