Advances in nanowire transistors for biological analysis and cellular investigation

Bor Ran Li, Chiao-Chen Chen, U. Rajesh Kumar, Yit-Tsong Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Electrical biosensors based on silicon nanowire field-effect transistors (SiNW-FETs) have attracted enormous interest in the biosensing field. SiNW-FETs have proven to be significant and efficient in detecting diverse biomolecular species with the advantages of high probing sensitivity, target selectivity,
real-time recording and label-free detection. In recent years, significant advances in biosensors have been achieved, particularly for cellular investigation and biomedical diagnosis. In this critical review, we will report on the latest developments in biosensing with SiNW-FETs and discuss recent advancements in the innovative designs of SiNW-FET devices. This critical review introduces the basic instrumental setup and working principle of SiNW-FETs. Technical approaches that attempted to enhance the detection sensitivity and target selectivity of SiNW-FET sensors are discussed. In terms of applications, we review the recent achievements with SiNW-FET biosensors for the investigations of protein–protein interaction, DNA/RNA/PNA hybridization, virus detection, cellular recording, biological kinetics, and clinical diagnosis. In addition, the novel architecture designs of the SiNW-FET devices are highlighted in
studies of live neuron cells, electrophysiological measurements and other signal transduction pathways. Despite these remarkable achievements, certain improvements remain necessary in the device performance and clinical applications of FET-based biosensors; thus, several prospects about the future development of nanowire transistor-based instruments for biosensing employments are discussed at the
end of this review.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1589-1608
Number of pages20
Issue number7
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2014


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