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Nanowire (NW)-based FETs are promising devices with potential applications ranging from health monitoring to drug discovery. In fact, these devices have demonstrated the ability to detect a variety of analytes such as particular DNA sequences, cancer biomarkers, and larger entities such as viruses. These sensor devices have also been used to monitor enzymatic activities and study the behavior of potential drug molecules. The detection of the analytes occurs with high specificity and sensitivity in reasonably short time. Here, we review the recent literature produced in the field of NW FET biosensors. We elaborate on the parameters that ultimately influence device performance such as methods of NW production, device dimensionality, and active measurement conditions. Significant progress has been made in this field of technology; however, it is often difficult to compare literature reports due to differences in both measurement conditions and data analysis. The standardization of certain active measurement conditions, such as the ionic strength of the analyte solutions, and manipulation of data are proposed to facilitate comparison between different NW biosensors.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2008