Within the last decade, breakthroughs in genomic [1-4] and proteomic [5-10] methods have allowed a plethora of disease-related biomarkers to be identified and validated. The discovery of these biomole-cular targets provides new opportunities for the development of molecular diagnostics enabling earlier and more accurate medical diagnoses through the detection of biomolecular analytes. High throughput, sensitivity, and specificity are essential elements of useful diagnostic devices, and a great need remains for technologies that fulfill these criteria.

The use of nanostructured materials for the construction of biosensors presents the possibility of achieving new levels of sensitivity with miniaturized and highly multiplexed devices. Structures with the dimensions of biomolecules (e.g., 5-20 nm) are particularly attractive, as the size complementarity could assist in increasing sensitivity, or eventually even allow single-molecule measurements. Electroactive nanostructured materials are of great interest as biosensing platforms, given the possibility of generating simple and sensitive devices that directly monitor electrical currents.

There are now several examples of powerful biosensing strategies relying on nanowires as a platform for probe immobilization and target detection using electrical or electrochemical measurements [1118]. In this chapter, a number of nanowire-based biosensors will be summarized, and then a detailed description of an electrochemical readout system used to detect biomolecular analytes at nanowire electrodes will be presented.

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