Multiplexed electrical detection of cancer markers with nanowire sensor arrays

Nat Biotechnol. 2005 Oct;23(10):1294-301. doi: 10.1038/nbt1138. Epub 2005 Sep 18.


We describe highly sensitive, label-free, multiplexed electrical detection of cancer markers using silicon-nanowire field-effect devices in which distinct nanowires and surface receptors are incorporated into arrays. Protein markers were routinely detected at femtomolar concentrations with high selectivity, and simultaneous incorporation of control nanowires enabled discrimination against false positives. Nanowire arrays allowed highly selective and sensitive multiplexed detection of prostate specific antigen (PSA), PSA-alpha1-antichymotrypsin, carcinoembryonic antigen and mucin-1, including detection to at least 0.9 pg/ml in undiluted serum samples. In addition, nucleic acid receptors enabled real-time assays of the binding, activity and small-molecule inhibition of telomerase using unamplified extracts from as few as ten tumor cells. The capability for multiplexed real-time monitoring of protein markers and telomerase activity with high sensitivity and selectivity in clinically relevant samples opens up substantial possibilities for diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other complex diseases.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods
  • Electric Wiring
  • Electrochemistry / instrumentation*
  • Electrochemistry / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / instrumentation
  • Immunoassay / methods
  • Microelectrodes
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation*
  • Nanotechnology / methods
  • Neoplasm Proteins / blood
  • Neoplasms / blood*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Protein Array Analysis / instrumentation*
  • Protein Array Analysis / methods
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Telomerase / blood
  • Transducers


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Telomerase