Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Model is first to compare performance of 'biosensors'

Abstract:
Dimensionally Frustrated Diffusion Towards Fractal Adsorbers

P. R. Nair and M. A. Alam

Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907; Ph: (765) 494-9035

Diffusion toward a fractal adsorber is a well researched problem with many applications. While the steady-state flux toward such adsorbers is known to be characterized by the fractal dimension (DF) of the surface, the more general problem of time-dependent adsorption kinetics of fractal surfaces remains poorly understood. In this letter, we show that the time-dependent flux to fractal adsorbers (1

Model is first to compare performance of 'biosensors'

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN | Posted on January 2nd, 2008

Researchers have developed a new modeling technique to study and design miniature "biosensors," a tool that could help industry perfect lab-on-a-chip technology for uses ranging from medical diagnostics to environmental monitoring.

The experimental devices represent a new class of portable sensors designed to capture and detect specific "target molecules," which will allow the sensors to identify pathogens, DNA or other substances.

Now researchers at Purdue University are the first to create "a new conceptual framework" and corresponding computational model to relate the shape of a sensor to its performance and explain why certain designs perform better than others, said Ashraf Alam, a professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Findings also refute long-held assumptions about how to improve sensor performance.

The researchers tested and validated their model with experimental data from various other laboratories.

"Many universities and companies are conducting experiments in biosensors," Alam said. "The problem is that until now there has been no way to consistently interpret the wealth of data available to the research community. Our work provides a completely different perspective on how to analyze their data and how to interpret them."

Research findings are detailed in a paper that appeared in the Dec. 21 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters. The paper was written by electrical and computer engineering doctoral student Pradeep Nair and Alam.

Biosensors integrate electronic circuitry with natural molecules, such as antibodies or DNA, which enable the devices to capture target molecules. In efforts to design more sensitive devices, engineers have created sensors with various geometries: some capture the biomolecules on a flat, or planar surface, others use a single cylindrical nanotube as a sensing element, and others use several nanotubes, arranged in a crisscrossing pattern like overlapping sticks.

Researchers have known for several years that smaller devices are more sensitive than larger ones. Specifically, the most sensitive devices are those built on the scale of nanometers, or billionths of a meter, such as tiny hollow nanotubes made of carbon.

"But we haven't really known why smaller sensors are more sensitive," Alam said.

One obstacle in learning precisely why smaller sensors work better is that the analysis is too computationally difficult to perform with conventional approaches. The Purdue researchers solved this problem by creating a model using a mathematical technique called Cantor transformation, which simplified the computations needed for the analysis.

"That is the most important aspect of this work," Nair said. "You could not effectively analyze the physics behind these biosensors by using brute force with massive computing resources. It either could not be done, or you would not be able to get consistent results."

The new model explains for the first time why a single nanotube performs better than sensors containing several nanotubes or flat planar sensors and refutes the predominant explanation for why smaller sensors work better than larger ones.

"Everyone presumes that the nanometer-scale sensors are better simply because they are closer to the size of the target molecules," Alam said "This classical theory suggests that because larger sensors dwarf the molecules they are trying to detect, these target molecules are just harder to locate once they are captured by the probe. It's like trying to see a small speck on a large surface. But that same target molecule is no longer a speck if it lands on a probe closer to its own size, so it's much easier to see.

"What we found, however, was not that smaller sensors are better able to detect target molecules, but that they are better able to capture target molecules. It's not what happens after the molecule is captured that determines how well the sensor works. It's how fast the sensor actually captures the molecule to begin with that matters most."

The distinction is important for the design of biosensors.

The reason smaller sensors capture molecules more effectively is because using a single nanotube sensor eliminates a phenomenon called "diffusion slow down." As a result, target molecules move faster toward single nanotubes than other structures.

The new model developed by the Purdue researchers determined that "the smaller the better," Alam said.

"This acceleration starts coming in when you make sensors on the size scale of tens of nanometers. That is when you will get a real advantage."

Future work will concentrate on applying the model to the performance of a "fractal sponge," which is a shape containing many pores. Such a shape is important for applications in drug delivery and filtration.

The research has been supported by the National Science Foundation through the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology, based at the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue's Discovery Park. More recently, the work also has been funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers used computer resources on the nanoHub, an Internet-based science gateway that provides access to advanced simulation and software tools. The nanoHub is part of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology.

Note to Journalists: An electronic copy of the research paper is available from Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709,

####

About Purdue University
One of Purdue’s great strengths is its ability to invest in those tools, connect resources, and build partnerships. The result? A dynamic campus culture of research innovation, entrepreneurship, and scholarly impact.

Each year, Purdue faculty submit nearly 3000 research proposals to government agencies, corporations, and foundations. Our research includes a focus on key regional and national priorities as we create and apply new knowledge in an unparalleled learning experience for graduate and undergraduate students. Purdue faculty move across traditional disciplinary boundaries and into emerging areas that require cross-disciplinary collaboration to address some of the most complex challenges of our day, such as energy, health care, and homeland security.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Writer:
Emil Venere
(765) 494-4709


Sources:
Ashraf Alam
(765) 494-5988


Pradeep Nair
(845) 625-7368


Purdue News Service:
(765) 494-2096

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 2014

Ultra-short pulse lasers & Positioning August 21st, 2014

Malvern’s Dr Alan Rawle talks TLAs in plenary lecture at Particulate Systems Analysis conference August 21st, 2014

Water window imaging opportunity: A new theoretical study elucidates mechanisms that could help in producing coherent radiations, ultimately promoting high-contrast imaging of biological samples August 21st, 2014

Sensors

Newly-Developed Nanobiosensor Quickly Diagnoses Cancer August 20th, 2014

Graphene rubber bands could stretch limits of current healthcare, new research finds August 19th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Stabilize Protein on Highly Stable Electrode Surface August 14th, 2014

Non-Enzyme Nanosensors Quickly Measure Blood Sugar August 12th, 2014

Discoveries

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 2014

Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals: Berkeley Lab Researchers Obtain First Direct Observation of Facet Formation in Nanocubes August 21st, 2014

Water window imaging opportunity: A new theoretical study elucidates mechanisms that could help in producing coherent radiations, ultimately promoting high-contrast imaging of biological samples August 21st, 2014

Nanotechnology Helps Production of Super Adsorbent Polymers August 21st, 2014

Announcements

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 2014

Ultra-short pulse lasers & Positioning August 21st, 2014

Malvern’s Dr Alan Rawle talks TLAs in plenary lecture at Particulate Systems Analysis conference August 21st, 2014

Water window imaging opportunity: A new theoretical study elucidates mechanisms that could help in producing coherent radiations, ultimately promoting high-contrast imaging of biological samples August 21st, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

The channel that relaxes DNA: Relaxing DNA strands by using nano-channels: Instructions for use August 20th, 2014

Сalculations with Nanoscale Smart Particles August 19th, 2014

Interaction between Drug, DNA for Designing Anticancer Drugs Studied in Iran August 17th, 2014

Scientists fold RNA origami from a single strand: RNA origami is a new method for organizing molecules on the nanoscale. Using just a single strand of RNA, this technique can produce many complicated shapes. August 14th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE