Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $685,000)
MicroCantilever (MC) based sensors can provide revolutionary sensitivity for forensic detection and identification of controlled substances, toxic species, biological molecules and DNA matching. Current sensor systems require extensive sample preparation and/or specialized instrumentation to identify molecules of controlled substances such as cocaine with high specificity and sensitivity. Ames Laboratory aims to overcome these limitations by developing a novel sensing approach based on MC sensors coupled with aptamer-based receptor layers. In order to demonstrate the feasibility and forensic suitability of our approach, we will develop sensors for sensitive and specific identification of cocaine, cocaine metabolites and methamphetamine molecules.