Joined: 16 Mar 2004
|Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:18 am Post subject: Nanotechnology protein sensor created
|U.S. researchers have developed a protein sensor that is so sensitive it can detect changes in concentration spanning more than five orders of magnitude.
Most biosensors rely on changes in the intensity of the fluorescence emitted, which is difficult to calibrate but Nicholas Kotov and colleagues at the University of Michigan have created a device in which the wavelength of the emitted light shifts reversibly.
The researchers said their device is based on gold nanoparticles that are attached to nanowires using molecular springs carrying protein-binding antibodies. As soon as the target protein attaches to the antibody, the molecular spring extends and moves the nanospheres farther from the nanowires, thereby reducing the interaction between sphere and wire.
That, said the scientists, leads to noticeable changes in the wavelength of the light emitted from the nanowire, which then can be used as a molecule-specific biosensor.
Kotov said the ease of calibration, as well as the broad range of sensitivities, suggests the potentially widespread use of this nanotechnology sensor in a large variety of biological applications.
The research is reported in the April issue of the journal Nature Materials.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International
Story first posted: 27th March 2007.