Wired M.D.

September 9, 2004 | Source: ScienCentral News

Imagine a computer chip that can diagnose thousands of diseases from a single drop of blood, or detect any possible chemical or biological hazard.

Peidong Yang, a chemistry professor at the University of California Berkeley has grown exceptionally long, flexible nanowires from the same materials used in computer chips, like silicon and gallium nitride.

“Because of the unique dimension of these nanowires — thin and very long — they have a very high surface area,” Yang says. That means they could be part of extremely sensitive and fast-acting sensors that could detect a great many diseases or toxic substances.