09 September 2009 www.cidetec.es

Researchers Develop Nanosensor to Detect DNA Mutations

DNA

Researchers from the Basque technological centre CIDETEC-IK4, the Higher Centre for Scientific Research (CSIC) and the University of Berkeley (U.S.) have developed a highly sensitive electrochemical sensor that can detect possible mutations in DNA more quickly than has been possible in the past.

The science journal NanoLetters, published by the American Chemical Society, has picked up on this joint venture for the manufacture of both optical and electrochemical nanosensors. The achievement of the research lies in the fact that the sensor they have developed uses only one nanotransistor, whose cable is a simple carbon nanotube. This means that it is possible to detect DNA waves without having to modify them to increase the system's sensitivity.

The journal also notes that the detection of DNA has been used only as a concept test to study the viability of the sensors, and that a whole field of possibilities will open up in the coming years when nanobiosensors will be able to detect other types of molecules and we will be able to use them to study genetic illnesses.

The specific contribution of CIDETEC-IK4 has consisted of making the nanotube function via a polymer that allows DNA anchoring. The polymer is an essential element without which the nanosensor does not function.

Source: CIDETEC / ...


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