Skip to main content
Cantilever deflection associated with hybridization of monomolecular DNA film
Journal of Applied Physics
  • Yue Zhao, Iowa State University
  • Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, Iowa State University
Document Type
Publication Date
Recent experiments show that specific binding between a ligand and surface immobilized receptor, such as hybridization of single stranded DNA immobilized on a microcantilever surface, leads to cantilever deflection. The binding-induced deflection may be used as a method for detection of biomolecules, such as pathogens and biohazards. Mechanical deformation induced due to hybridization of surface-immobilized DNA strands is a commonly used system to demonstrate the efficacy of microcantilever sensors. To understand the mechanism underlying the cantilever deflections, a theoretical model that incorporates the influence of ligand/receptor complex surface distribution and empirical interchain potential is developed to predict the binding-induced deflections. The cantilever bending induced due to hybridization of DNA strands is predicted for different receptor immobilization densities, hybridization efficiencies, and spatial arrangements. Predicted deflections are compared with experimental reports to validate the modeling assumptions and identify the influence of various components on mechanical deformation. Comparison of numerical predictions and experimental results suggest that, at high immobilization densities, hybridization-induced mechanical deformation is determined, primarily by immobilization density and hybridization efficiency, whereas, at lower immobilization densities, spatial arrangement of hybridized chains need to be considered in determining the cantilever deflection.

The following article appeared in Journal of Applied Physics 111 (2012): 074310 and may be found at

Copyright 2012 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.
Copyright Owner
American Institute of Physics
File Format
Citation Information
Yue Zhao and Baskar Ganapathysubramanian. "Cantilever deflection associated with hybridization of monomolecular DNA film" Journal of Applied Physics Vol. 111 Iss. 7 (2012) p. 074310
Available at: