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Suspended Fluidic nanochannels as optomechanical sensors for single molecules

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - FLUINEMS (Suspended Fluidic nanochannels as optomechanical sensors for single molecules)

Reporting period: 2020-12-01 to 2022-05-31

Detection of biomarkers is a key step for disease detection. For diagnosis at an early stage, usually their concentration is very low, and the needed detection methods need to be extremely sensitive, down to the single molecule level. In addition, these biomarkers come in complex media, like serum, and are mixed with other biomarkers, what makes the detection and analysis even more challenging.
In this project, we aim at the development of a device and associated read out methods for single molecule (e.g. protein or DNA) detection, identification and quantification. The device should be able to detect a variety of molecules, even when they are mixed. The objectives are the development of a nanodevice and its associated technology and cleanroom fabrication processes, the development and improvement of a sensitive enough read out method (optical, electrical, or a combination of both) and the proof of concept for the detection of molecules one by one.
During the first period, the fabrication technology has been developed. Customized tools for device nanofabrication have been designed, optimized and build. An optical read out method is being build, and calibration samples fabricated, for optimization. Simulations have been performed to fine tune the design and device parameters. Several functional components (fluidic, optical, mobile) are being integrated within the same device.
The device will have improved sensitivity due to the improved dimensions, and the new read out methods developed within the project. And the unique combination of the different components will allow for molecule identification and study.