Better living through biosensors
MetadataShow full item record
The ideal sensor will be sensitive, specific, versatile, small enough to hold in your hand, and selective enough to work even when faced with complex, contaminant-ridden samples. Given the affinity, specificity and generalizability of biomolecular recognition, biosensors have been widely touted for their potential to meet these challenging goals. To date, however, the translation of protein- and DNA-binding events into convenient, highly selective sensing platforms has proven problematic. We have solved this problem by employing the ligand-induced folding of proteins, peptides and DNA as a robust signal transduction mechanism. Our folding-based sensors are rapid (minutes to seconds), sensitive (micromolar to femtomolar), fully electronic, and generalizable to an enormous range of protein, nucleic acid and small molecule targets. The sensors are also reagentless, greater than 99% reusable, and selective enough to be employed in (and re-used from) blood, soil and other grossly contaminated materials. Because of their sensitivity, background suppression, operational convenience and impressive scalability folding-based biosensors appear ideally suited for electronic, on-chip applications in pathogen detection, proteomics and genomics.