Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > In latest generation of tiny biosensors, size isn't everything: UCLA researchers overturn conventional wisdom on nanowire-based diagnostic devices

Abstract:
When it comes to nanomedicine, smaller is — surprisingly — not always better.

UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science researchers have determined that the diminutive size of nanowire-based biosensors — which healthcare workers use to detect proteins that mark the onset of heart failure, cancer and other health risks — is not what makes them more sensitive than other diagnostic devices. Rather, what matters most is the interplay between the charged ions in the biological sample being tested and the charged proteins captured on the sensors' surface.

In latest generation of tiny biosensors, size isn't everything: UCLA researchers overturn conventional wisdom on nanowire-based diagnostic devices

Los Angeles, CA | Posted on April 11th, 2014

The finding counters years of conventional wisdom that a biosensor can be made more sensitive simply by reducing the diameter of the nanowires that make up the device. This assumption has driven hundreds of costly research-and-development efforts in the field of nanomedicine — in which tiny materials and devices are used to detect, diagnose and treat disease.

The research suggests new directions for designing biosensors to improve their sensitivity and make them more practical for doctors — and, eventually, patients themselves — to use.

"This is the first time the understanding of why nanowire biosensing works has been challenged," said Chi On Chui, an associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at UCLA whose lab performed the research. "The advantage is not from the fact that the wires are nanoscale, but rather how their geometry reduces the ability of the ions to inhibit protein detection. This research could be a step toward developing sophisticated, cost-efficient and portable devices to accurately detect a range of illnesses."

The research was published March 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nanowire biosensors are, in essence, electronic transistors with a diameter smaller than the width of a single red blood cell. When they are exposed to a sample of blood or another bodily fluid, the specific charged proteins being tested for are captured on the nanowires' surfaces. The charge of the captured proteins changes the rate of electric current flowing through the nanowire transistor. By monitoring the electrical current, researchers can quantify the concentration of proteins in the sample, which can give them an indication of heart health, diabetes and a number of other medical conditions.

A challenge to the practical use of the technology is that in addition to the charged proteins, many physiological fluids contain a large concentration of charged ions, such as sodium, potassium and chloride. These ions surround the proteins and mask the protein charge, which prevents the sensor from detecting the proteins.

Researchers in labs can circumvent this problem. But doctors performing tests on their patients or patients monitoring their own health at home cannot do so without the assistance of a technician. This has hampered the adoption of the technology.

The UCLA research advances understanding of nanowire efficiency in several ways. First, it proves that the small size of the nanowires is not inherently responsible for the fact that they outperform their planar counterparts.

Second, it demonstrates that the improvement in performance results from the fact that ionic screening is reduced in tight spaces — such as the corners between a nanowire and the base it sits on — because ions have difficulty approaching proteins there. This corner effect exists in most biosensing structures, whether they are nanoscale or not; but the effect becomes more important at the nanoscale.

The research also shows that in general, devices with concave surfaces work more efficiently than those with convex surfaces.

"My hope is that researchers can use this understanding to do two things," said Kaveh Shoorideh, the UCLA Engineering graduate student who is first author of the research. "First, to make sensitive biosensors without resorting to expensive nanowires, and second, to come up with ways to reduce ionic screening without requiring a technician."

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation.

####

About UCLA
The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, established in 1945, offers 28 academic and professional degree programs and has an enrollment of more than 5,000 students. The school's distinguished faculty are leading research to address many of the critical challenges of the 21st century, including renewable energy, clean water, health care, wireless sensing and networking, and cyber-security. Ranked among the top 10 engineering schools at public universities nationwide, the school is home to eight multimillion-dollar interdisciplinary research centers in wireless sensor systems, wireless health, nanoelectronics, nanomedicine, renewable energy, customized computing, the smart grid, and the Internet, all funded by federal and private agencies and individual donors.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Bill Kisliuk

310-206-0540

Copyright © UCLA

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

How does enzymatic pretreatment affect the nanostructure and reaction space of lignocellulosic biomass? December 18th, 2014

Silicon Valley-Based Foresight Valuation Launches STR-IP™, a New Initiative for Startups to Discover the Value of Their Intellectual Property December 18th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Zenosense, Inc. - Hospital Collaboration - 400 Person Lung Cancer Detection Trial December 17th, 2014

SUNY Poly NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as American Physical Society Fellow: SUNY Poly Associate Professor of Nanoscience Dr. Vincent LaBella Recognized for Significant Technological Innovations that Enable Interactive Learning December 17th, 2014

Switching to spintronics: Berkeley Lab reports on electric field switching of ferromagnetism at room temp December 17th, 2014

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale December 17th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

Zenosense, Inc. - Hospital Collaboration - 400 Person Lung Cancer Detection Trial December 17th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

First Home-Made Edible Herbal Nanodrug Presented to Pharmacies across Iran December 17th, 2014

Sensors

Promising new method for rapidly screening cancer drugs: UMass Amherst researchers invent fast, accurate new nanoparticle-based sensor system December 15th, 2014

Graphene Applied in Production of Recyclable Electrodes December 13th, 2014

Detecting gases wirelessly and cheaply: New sensor can transmit information on hazardous chemicals or food spoilage to a smartphone December 8th, 2014

Nanosensor to Detect Naproxen Drug Produced in Iran December 6th, 2014

Discoveries

How does enzymatic pretreatment affect the nanostructure and reaction space of lignocellulosic biomass? December 18th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

ORNL microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale December 17th, 2014

Announcements

How does enzymatic pretreatment affect the nanostructure and reaction space of lignocellulosic biomass? December 18th, 2014

Silicon Valley-Based Foresight Valuation Launches STR-IP™, a New Initiative for Startups to Discover the Value of Their Intellectual Property December 18th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Scientists trace nanoparticles from plants to caterpillars: Rice University study examines how nanoparticles behave in food chain December 16th, 2014

FEI and Oregon Health & Science University Install a Complete Correlative Microscopy Workflow in Newly Built Collaborative Science Facility December 16th, 2014

UCLA engineers first to detect and measure individual DNA molecules using smartphone microscope December 15th, 2014

Biomimetic dew harvesters: Understanding how a desert beetle harvests water from dew could improve drinking water collection in dew condensers December 8th, 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