Bioelectronic silicon nanowire devices using functional membrane proteins

Nipun Misra, Julio A. Martinez, Shih Chieh J Huang, Yinmin Wang, Pieter Stroeve, Costas P. Grigoropoulos, Aleksandr Noy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Modern means of communication rely on electric fields and currents to carry the flow of information. In contrast, biological systems follow a different paradigm that uses ion gradients and currents, flows of small molecules, and membrane electric potentials. Living organisms use a sophisticated arsenal of membrane receptors, channels, and pumps to control signal transduction to a degree that is unmatched by manmade devices. Electronic circuits that use such biological components could achieve drastically increased functionality; however, this approach requires nearly seamless integration of biological and manmade structures. We present a versatile hybrid platform for such integration that uses shielded nanowires (NWs) that are coated with a continuous lipid bilayer. We show that when shielded silicon NW transistors incorporate transmembrane peptide pores gramicidin A and alamethicin in the lipid bilayer they can achieve ionic to electronic signal transduction by using voltage-gated or chemically gated ion transport through the membrane pores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13780-13784
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 18 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bionanoelectronics
  • Ion channels
  • Lipid bilayers
  • Membrane transport
  • Silicon nanowires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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