Nanowire-enabled bioelectronics

Anqi Zhang, Jae Hyun Lee, Charles M. Lieber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Bioelectronics explores the use of electronic devices for applications in signal transduction at their interfaces with biological systems. The miniaturization of the bioelectronic systems has enabled seamless integration at these interfaces and is providing new scientific and technological opportunities. In particular, nanowire-based devices can yield smaller sized and unique geometry detectors that are difficult to access with standard techniques, and thereby can provide advantages in sensitivity with reduced invasiveness. In this review, we focus on nanowire-enabled bioelectronics. First, we provide an overview of synthetic studies for designed growth of semiconductor nanowires of which structure and composition are controlled to enable key elements for bioelectronic devices. Second, we review nanowire field-effect transistor sensors for highly sensitive detection of biomolecules, their applications in diagnosis and drug discovery, and methods for sensitivity enhancement. We then turn to recent progress in nanowire-enabled studies of electrogenic cells, including cardiomyocytes and neurons. Representative advances in electrical recording using nanowire electronic devices for single cell measurements, cell network mapping, and three-dimensional recordings of synthetic and natural tissues, and in vivo brain mapping are highlighted. Finally, we overview the key challenges and opportunities of nanowires for fundamental research and translational applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101135
JournalNano Today
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the members of the Lieber lab for helpful discussions. C.M.L. acknowledges support of this work by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research ( FA9550-18-1-0469 , FA9550-19-1-0246 ) and a National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award ( 1DP1EB025835-01 ). J.H.L. acknowledges support from the Institute for Basic Science ( IBS-R026-D1 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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