13) Combating Alzheimer’s Disease with MEMS Technology

Hiroyuki Fujita of University of Tokyo will describe the use of MEMS technology on the molecular scale to conduct studies of DNA degradation and protein mutation related to Alzheimer’s disease. In one study, MEMS tweezers with tips ~10µm apart were used to trap bundles of DNA molecules via dielectrophoresis to study them for stiffness and viscosity, which are markers of DNA degradation.

Figure (a) is a drawing of the silicon nanotweezers, with a close-up photograph of a DNA bundle trapped by dielectrophoresis; (b) is an electron microscope image of a DNA molecular bundle between the tips.

(Paper #31.1, “Bio-MEMS Towards Single-Molecule Characterization,” H. Fujita, University of Tokyo)

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