Reminder: TODAY at 2pm, PhD defense-Liang Xu

Liang Xu lxuwind at
Mon May 18 11:03:41 PDT 2009

Stanford University PhD Dissertation Defense

Giant Magnetoresistive Sensor for Biomolecule Detection and Cancer Diagnosis

Liang Xu
Research Advisor: Shan Wang
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Monday, May 18, 2009 @ 2:00 pm (refreshments served at 1:40 pm)

Location: Packard 202

Technology of detecting biomolecules is an integral part of early cancer diagnosis research. Various sensors based on fluorescence, mass, electrical interactions, etc have been developed to detect the cancer biomarkers. In this dissertation, a giant magnetoresistive (GMR) sensor is presented for biomolecule detections. The GMR sensor can detect small changes in local magnetic field. Therefore, if the target biomolecule is labeled with a magnetic nanoparticle and a specific probe is coated on the sensor surface, the target molecule will be captured and when an external magnetic field is applied to magnetize this magnetic nanoparticle, the stray field from the particle can be detected by the GMR sensor. In this dissertation, various components of the GMR sensor technology are described and several examples of the application of the GMR sensor are presented. Compared with other technologies for biomolecule detection, GMR sensor is more sensitive, can be easily integrated with electronics and microfluidics, and can be potentially made portable. In addition, GMR sensor and measurement system is much less expensive than most of other detection methods. Therefore, GMR sensor is a good candidate for detecting biomolecules, in particular, cancer biomarkers. In addition, it is shown in this dissertation that GMR sensor can be used to study the kinetics of biomolecule interactions, and therefore can serve as a complementary technology to Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), which is the dominant technology currently used for kinetics measurement.

Liang Xu
lxuwind at

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