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Existing sensors for biological materials or hazardous substances can be very limited in terms of sensitivity, and can typically only detect one substance per device.
A new biosensor developed at the University of Pennsylvania combines label-free detection with high sensitivity. An Aluminum Nitride resonator is functionalized with single-stranded DNA coated nanotubes to detect biomolecules or hazardous substances. The sensitivity of this device has been shown to be better than similar FBAR resonator based sensors.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are adsorbed by the DNA coating, which changes the frequency response of the piezoelectric resonator and allows for detection. A prototype system was demonstrated to detect a variety of VOCs across a range of frequencies, which provides a proof of concept for a label-free system that can operate at a range of detection sensitivities.
Dr. Gianluca Piazza
Stage of Development: