Thursday, November 02, 2006

US Patent 7129554 - Nanowire Biosensor

The Lieber research group of Harvard University is actively exploring the science of nanowire based electronics and exploiting the resulting technology of nanowire electronics via the associated startup Nanosys. This patent which has been pending for several years has broad claims directed toward functionalized semiconductor nanowire sensors. It is notable that the specification includes semiconducting nanotubes as a potential candidate for the nanowires. Claim 1 reads:

1. An article for detecting an analyte by allowing the analyte to bind to a reaction entity selected to interact with the analyte, the article comprising: a sample exposure region, a semiconductor nanowire deposited after growth proximal the sample exposure region, at least a portion of which is addressable by a sample in the sample exposure region, and a chemical or biological reaction entity positioned relative to the nanowire such that an interaction between the reaction entity and an analyte in the sample causes a detectable change in a property of the nanowire, whereby the detectable change in the property of the nanowire can be determined to detect the analyte.