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Nanowire Sensors For Medicine And The Life Sciences

Fernando Patolsky, Gengfeng Zheng, Charles M Lieber

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The interface between nanosystems and biosystems is emerging as one of the broadest and most dynamic areas of science and technology, bringing together biology, chemistry, physics and many areas of engineering, biotechnology and medicine. The combination of these diverse areas of research promises to yield revolutionary advances in healthcare, medicine and the life sciences through, for example, the creation of new and powerful tools that enable direct, sensitive and rapid analysis of biological and chemical species, ranging from the diagnosis and treatment of disease to the discovery and screening of new drug molecules. Devices based on nanowires are emerging as a powerful and general platform for ultrasensitive, direct electrical detection of biological and chemical species. Here, representative examples where these new sensors have been used for detection of a wide-range of biological and chemical species, from proteins and DNA to drug molecules and viruses, down to the ultimate level of a single molecule, are discussed. Moreover, how advances in the integration of nanoelectronic devices enable multiplexed detection and thereby provide a clear pathway for nanotechnology, enabling diverse and exciting applications in medicine and life sciences, are highlighted.