Thursday, December 06, 2007

US Patent 7303875 - Nanowire chemfet

This patent is the latest by Nanosys focusing on applying nanowires for chemical sensing. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of detecting a component of interest, the method comprising: (a) providing one or more nanowires, which nanowires comprise one or more functional groups comprising a hairpin oligonucleotide, which functional group undergoes a change in charge in the presence of the component of interest, wherein the hairpin comprises a first end, a second end, and a central portion, wherein the first end and the second end are complementary to each other and the central portion is complementary to the component of interest, and wherein the first end comprises a charge moiety that is proximal to the nanowires; (b) contacting the one or more nanowires with a solution comprising the component of interest; wherein binding the component of interest to the central portion of the hairpin oligonucleotide unfolds the hairpin, thereby moving the charge moiety away from the nanowires, producing the change in charge which change in charge results in a detectable signal; and, (c) detecting the signal, thereby detecting the component of interest.