Skip to Main Content
Detection of molecules involved with the functioning of living things impacts a broad spectrum of applications from pathogen detection to drug development and biochemically-guided medical care. Biological molecules are often detected from an analyte mixture by selective binding to a solid support. The function of the sensor is then to detect such surface binding events, to convert them (typically) to an electrical signal, and to extract information from the signal such as identity and concentration of the analyte. These functions, simple in principle, pose a number of challenges in practice. Under optimal conditions only the analyte of interest should interact with the sensor. We provide an overview of methods used to derivatize surfaces with biomolecular probes on silica-like and metal supports.