Enumeration of DNA molecules bound to a nanomechanical oscillator

B. Ilic, Y. Yang, K. Aubin, R. Reichenbach, S. Krylov, Harold G. Craighead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

232 Scopus citations


Resonant nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) are being actively investigated as sensitive mass detectors for applications such as chemical and biological sensing. We demonstrate that highly uniform arrays of nanomechanical resonators can be used to detect the binding of individual DNA molecules through resonant frequency shifts resulting from the added mass of bound analyte. Localized binding sites created with gold nanodots create a calibrated response with sufficient sensitivity and accuracy to count small numbers of bound molecules. The amount of nonspecifically bound material from solution, a fundamental issue in any ultra-sensitive assay, was measured to be less than the mass of one DNA molecule, allowing us to detect a single 1587 bp DNA molecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-929
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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