Virus detection using nanoelectromechanical devices

Ilic, B.; Yang, Y.; Craighead, H. G.
September 2004
Applied Physics Letters;9/27/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 13, p2604
Academic Journal
We have used a resonating mechanical cantilever to detect immunospecific binding of viruses, captured flora liquid. As a model virus, we used a nonpathogenic insect baculovirus to test the ability to specifically bind and detect small numbers of virus particles. Arrays of surface micromachined, antibody-coated polycrystalline silicon nanomechanical cantilever beams were used to detect binding from various concentrations of baculoviruses in a buffer solution. Because of their small mass, the 0.5 μm × 6 μm cantilevers have mass sensitivities on the order of 10-19 g/Hz, enabling the detection of an immobilized AcV1 antibody monolayer corresponding to a mass of about 3 × 10-15 g. With these devices, we can detect the mass of single-virus particles bound to the cantilever. Resonant frequency shift resulting from the adsorbed mass of the virus particles distinguished solutions of virus concentrations varying between l05 and 107 pfu/ml. Control experiments using buffer solutions without baculovirus showed small amounts (<50 attograms) of nonspecific adsorption to the antibody layer.


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