MRS Bulletin

Technical Feature

Technical Feature

Nanowire-Based Nanoelectronic Devices in the Life Sciences

Fernando Patolsky, Brian P. Timko, Gengfeng Zheng and Charles M. Lieber

Abstract

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, biotechnology, medicine, and many areas of engineering. The combination of these diverse areas of research promises to yield revolutionary advances in healthcare, medicine, and the life sciences through the creation of new and powerful tools that enable direct, sensitive, and rapid analysis of biological and chemical species. Devices based on nanowires have emerged as one of the most powerful and general platforms for ultrasensitive, direct electrical detection of biological and chemical species and for building functional interfaces to biological systems, including neurons. Here, we discuss representative ex amples of nanowire nanosensors for ultrasensitive detection of proteins and individual virus particles as well as recording, stimulation, and inhibition of neuronal signals in nanowire-neuron hybrid structures.

Fernando Patolsky is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. He received BS and PhD degrees in chemistry from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.

His research at Harvard focuses on the development of high-performance nanowire field-effect transistors and their applications as a general means for label-free, real-time, ultrasensitive, and mul tiplexed detection of biological and chemical species.His interests also include the design of electrical interfaces between nanowirebased devices and living neurons.

Patolsky can be reached at Harvard University, 12 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138 USA; tel.617-496-3169, fax 617-496-5442, and e-mailfernando@cmliris.harvard.edu

Brian P.Timko is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, where he is pursuing his PhD degree in physical chemistry under the direction of Charles M. Lieber. Timko received BS degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from Lehigh University in 2002.

His research interests include nanowire synthesis along with structural and electrical characterization, the design of electrical interfaces between nanowires and cells, and the properties of neural networks and computation. He was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow from 2002 to 2005 and a recipient of a Best Poster Award at the MRS 2006 Spring Meeting.

Timko can be reached at Harvard University, 12 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138 USA; tel. 617-496-3169, fax 617-496-5442, and e-mailbrian@cml.harvard.edu

Gengfeng Zheng is working towards his PhD degree in chemistry in Charles M. Lieber's research group at Harvard University. He received his BS degree with honors in chemistry from Fudan University, China, in 2000, and his AM degree in chemistry at Harvard in 2004.

His research focuses on synthesizing highperformance nanowire field-effect transistors and developing a general nanowire sensor platform for label-free, real-time, ultrasensitive, and mul tiplexed detection of biological and chemical species, as well as fundamental kinetic studies. Zheng received an MRS Graduate Student Gold Award and the American Academy of Nanomedicine's Young Investigator Award in 2006.

Zheng can be reached at Harvard University, 12 Oxford st., Cambridge, MA 02138 USA; tel. 617-496-3169, fax 617-496-5442, and e-mail gzheng@cmliris.harvard.edu

Charles M. Lieber guest Editor for this issue of MRS Bulletin ,is the Mark Hyman Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University and holds a joint appointment in Harvard's Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Lieber's research focuses on the chemistry and physics of materials, with an emphasis on low-dimensional and nanoscale materials; rational synthesis of new nanoscale and nanostructured solids; development of methodologies for hierarchical assembly of nanoscale materials into complex and functional systems; investigation of fundamental electronic, optical, and optoelectronic properties of nanoscale materials; design and development of nanoelectronics and nanophotonic systems with an emphasis on biological detection; electrical and optical-based computing; and interfaces between nanoelectronic and biological systems.

Lieber can be reached at Harvard University, 12 Oxford st., Cambridge, MA 02138 USA; tel. 617-496-3169, fax 617-496-5442, and e-mailcml@cmliris.harvard.edu

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