The ability to detect small amounts of materials, especially bacterial organisms, is important for medical diagnostics and national security issues. Engineered micromechanical systems provide one approach for constructing multifunctional, highly sensitive, real-time, immunospecific biological detectors. We present qualitative detection of specific Salmonella enterica strains using a functionalized silicon nitride microcantilever. Detection is achieved due to a change in the surface stress on the cantilever surface in situ upon binding of a small number of bacteria. Scanning electron micrographs indicate that less than 25 adsorbed bacteria are required for detection.
- Surface functionalization