Silicon optomechanical nanoresonators pour DNA strands detection

Published : 27 February 2019

The MEMS sensor laboratory at CEA LETI has a very strong expertise and an international recognition in the field of resonating MEMS/NEMS, and more recently for optomechanical resonators. The market of DNA sequencing has been exponentially growing and has reached impressive volumes for biomedical devices realized with micro- and nanotechnologies. The last sequencer generation dominating the market is based on fluorescence techniques. The requirement for external optical readout is an obstacle for faster analysis and miniaturization. Among several solutions investigated for sensing in liquid medium, the NEMS group at LETI recently performed a world first: a biological detection with an optomechanical resonator immersed in liquid. Beside extraordinary sensing performance, this technique allows a very local containment of light, and potentially a significant simplification of optical sequences.

The PhD candidate will build on this know-how to study the identification of DNA pairs by a multi-parametric sensing technique: gravimetric on one hand (mass sensing by biological functionnalization), as well as optical. The PhD will study the possibility to monitor in real time and at the single DNA strand level the amplification of a DNA sequence by PCR. This will be done by taking into account field analysis constraints: portability, drastic reduction of analysis time, sample quantity to be analyzed, and thus reagent quantity. The candidate will have to contribute in all aspects, from design, fabrication to experimental proof of concept.

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