Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Disease Markers
Volume 18 (2002), Issue 4, Pages 167-174

Bioassays Based on Molecular Nanomechanics

Arun Majumdar

Nanoengineering Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Received 12 February 2003; Accepted 12 February 2003

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent experiments have shown that when specific biomolecular interactions are confined to one surface of a microcantilever beam, changes in intermolecular nanomechanical forces provide sufficient differential torque to bend the cantilever beam. This has been used to detect single base pair mismatches during DNA hybridization, as well as prostate specific antigen (PSA) at concentrations and conditions that are clinically relevant for prostate cancer diagnosis. Since cantilever motion originates from free energy change induced by specific biomolecular binding, this technique is now offering a common platform for label-free quantitative analysis of protein-protein binding, DNA hybridization DNA-protein interactions, and in general receptor-ligand interactions. Current work is focused on developing “universal microarrays” of microcantilever beams for high-throughput multiplexed bioassays.