Biochemistry of Targets and Probes

  • Sandro Carrara


The interaction of biological molecules with the surface is one of the most relevant phenomena when it comes to interfaces between CMOS circuits and biological systems. We may have nonspecific or specific interactions depending on the nature of the interface. If our interface is developed for a specific sensing aim, then the only interacting molecules are expected to be the molecular targets. For example, if we develop an implantable system for measuring human glycemia (the measure of glucose in the blood), then glucose must be the only molecule to interact with our interface. Then we can define specific interactions, with all interactions occurring at the interface that are specifically related to the aim of the Bio/CMOS interface we are dealing with. In biosensing, the specifically related molecules are called target molecules, or simply targets. In the example of a CMOS circuit for measuring glycemia, glucose is the biosensing target. However, all biological systems typically contain many different components that would interact with our interface. For example, 1 μl of blood contains millions of cells and thousands of proteins and metabolites. We can define as nonspecific interactions all interactions occurring at the interface that are not specifically related to the aim of our Bio/CMOS interface. Sometimes, the molecules that have nonspecific interactions at the Bio/CMOS interface are also called nontarget molecules, or simply nontargets. The interaction of these nonspecific molecules generates nonspecific electrical signals, which are nonetheless registered by our CMOS circuit. We can also consider these signals a kind of interference.


Peptide Bond Random Coil Nonspecific Interaction Hydrophilic Character CMOS Circuit 
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Further Reading

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    Stryer L (ed) (1995) Biochemistry, 4th edn. W.H. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
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    Whitford D (2005) Proteins: structure and function. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
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    Lesk AM (2004) Introduction to protein science: architecture, function, and genomics. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
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    Rupp B (2009) Biomolecular crystallography: principles, practice, and application to structural biology. Garland Science Publisher, New YorkGoogle Scholar
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    Drenth J (2007) Principles of protein X-Ray crystallography (Springer advanced texts in chemistry). Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lattman EE, Loll PJ (2008) Protein crystallography: a concise guide. The Johns Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
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    Cox LS, Kearsey S, Campbell JL (2009) Molecular themes in DNA replication. Springer, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dale JW, von Schantz M (2007) From genes to genomes: concepts and applications of DNA technology. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandro Carrara
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculties Sciences et Techniques de l’Ingénieur and Informatique et Communications Labo. Systèmes Intégrés (LSI)LausanneSwitzerland

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