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Microcantilever Sensors

  • Hans Peter LangEmail author
  • Christoph GerberEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry book series (TOPCURRCHEM, volume 285)

Abstract

Microfabricated cantilevers have been used in atomic force microscopy for the topography imagingof non-conductive surfaces for more than 20 years. Cantilever beams without tips have proved theirapplicability in recent years as miniaturized, ultrasensitive, and fast-responding sensors for applicationsin chemistry, physics, biochemistry, and medicine. Microcantilever sensors respond by bending dueto the absorption of molecules. A shift in resonance frequency also occurs. They can be operatedin different environments such as gaseous environment, liquids, or vacuum. In gas, microcantileversensors can be operated as an artificial nose, whereby the bending pattern of a microfabricatedarray of eight polymer-coated silicon cantilevers is characteristic of the different vapors from solvents,flavors, and beverages. When operated in a liquid, microcantilever sensors are able to detectbiochemical reactions. Each cantilever is functionalized with a specific biochemical probe receptor,sensitive for detection of the corresponding target molecule. Applications lie in the fields of label-and amplification-free detection of DNA hybridization, the detection of proteins as well as antigen-antibodyreactions, and the detection of larger entities, such as bacteria and fungi.

Artificial nose Biosensor Microcantilever sensor  

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Competence Center for Research in Nanoscale ScienceUniversity of Basel, Institute of PhysicsBaselSwitzerland

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