Nanobiolithography of biochips Academic Article uri icon


  • The maturation of arrayed biosensors (mainly DNA microarrays, known as DNA chips) has demonstrated the power of the parallel approach to sensing in general and biosensing in particular. The ability to ask thousands 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, biodefense, 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, and label-free detection methods need to be developed to enable on-line operation. One possible avenue, nanobiolithography, has gained much attention during the past years. We review the problems and possible ways to solve them, using state-of-the-art nanobiolithography techniques. Keywords: nanobiolithography; biochips; dip-pen; fountain-pen; near-field lithography

publication date

  • January 1, 2008