Levi A. Gheber
Department of Biotechnology Engineering
The Ilse Katz Center for Meso and Nanoscale Science and Technology
National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er-Sheva, Israel
[email protected]
The maturation of arrayed biosensors (mainly DNA micro-arrays, known as “DNA chips”) has demonstrated the
power of the parallel approach to sensing in general and biosensing in particular. The ability to ask thousand of
questions and obtain simultaneous answers enables high-throughput screening of potential drugs, diagnosis of
genetically derived disorders and basic genome research. The promise of the biochip, though, goes much further
and farther: online monitoring of drinking water and food quality, point-of-care diagnosis, bio-defense and other
futuristic applications. To reach there, though, there is a need to almost completely transform the existing
technology, which at present is highly localized to large research laboratories, big pharmaceutical companies or
advanced medical centers.
Several aspects must be considered simultaneously (a step-by-step improvement of existing technology is likely
to fail): the “spot” size needs to be reduced by several orders of magnitude, reporting and reading systems must
be integrated, sample preparation and handling subsystems should also be integrated, the devices need to be
increasingly autonomous and have communication abilities, label-free detection methods need to be developed, to
enable on-line operation.
We will analyze the parameters that prevent portability and discuss some approaches, mostly based on Scanning
Probe Microscopy (SPM) that may provide some answers to these challenges. Among the topics covered, protein
printing(1), enzyme nanolithography(2,3), polymer optics(4), MIP based arrays(5) and wettability patterning.
1. Taha, H., R. S. Marks, L. A. Gheber, I. Rousso, J. Newman, C. Sukenik and A. Lewis. 2003. Protein
printing with an atomic force sensing nanofountainpen. Appl. Phys. Lett. 83:1041-1043.
2. Ionescu, R. E., R. S. Marks and L. A. Gheber. 2003. Nanolithography using protease etching of
protein surfaces. Nano. Lett. 3:1639-1642.
3. Ionescu, R. E., R. S. Marks and L. A. Gheber. 2005. Manufacturing of nano-channels with
controlled dimensions, using protease nano-lithography. Nano. Lett. 5:821-827.
4. Sokuler, M. and L. A. Gheber. 2006. Nano-Fountain Pen Manufacture of Polymer Lenses for Nanobiochip Applications. Nano. Lett. 6:848-853.
5. Belmont, A.-S., M. Sokuler, K. Haupt and L. A. Gheber. 2007. Direct writing of molecularly
imprinted microstructures using a nanofountain pen. Appl. Phys. Lett. 90:3101.
Organized and Produced by:
We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the European Union (‘NASCENT’,
P.O.B 4034 Ness-Ziona 70400, Israel
Tel: +972-8-931-3070, Fax: +972-8-931-3071
Site: www.BioForum.org.il
E-mail: [email protected]

spm-based approaches towards integrated, portable, nano