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.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/baskar-ganapathysubramanian/4/