Skip Navigation
National Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute U.S. National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute
OverviewUnderstanding NanotechnologyImpacts on CancerWhere It Stands Now

Nanotechnology Animations: Nanowires

NanowiresReference: Jim Heath, California Institute of Technology

Replay Animation

Next Animation


In this diagram, nano sized sensing wires are laid down across a microfluidic channel. These nanowires by nature have incredible properties of selectivity and specificity. As particles flow through the microfluidic channel, the nanowire sensors pick up the molecular signatures of these particles and can immediately relay this information through a connection of electrodes to the outside world.

These nanodevices are man-made constructs made with carbon, silicon and other materials that have the capability to monitor the complexity of biological phenomenon and relay the information, as it is monitored, to the medical care provider.

They can detect the presence of altered genes associated with cancer and may help researchers pinpoint the exact location of those changes.