Under the Optonanogen project (EU contract IST-2001237239), a novel biosensor has been developed, which incorporates a disposable acrylic (PMMA) fluidic header . This biosensor relies on a micro-cantilever array which is etched into a silicon chip and contained within the header. Nucleic acids are immobilised on one side of each of the 20 cantilevers, then upon injection of a biological sample over the cantilevers, hybridisation of DNA contained within the sample (and complementary to the immobilised nucleic acids) generates surface stresses on the cantilever and causes bending. The cantilever deflection is then detected optically using laser and micro-lens arrays. The sensor was initially designed to detect human gene mutations, particularly those associated with breast cancer, and miniaturises this form of diagnostic test . This paper, however, concentrates on the fluidic design of the header, its ease of use and the ability to deliver the test sample to the cantilevers
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