How can microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) experts support molecular biologists in studying DNA hybridization? Cantilever-based devices are an example of how a ‘simple’ sensor can be tailored by microfabrication techniques and used to achieve an unprecedented performance. We review fascinating experiments, which use different mechanical transduction principles for detecting and analyzing small quantities of materials. The principles of these experiments allow biologists to study surface biochemistry on a nano-scale and offer new, exciting opportunities in developing microscopic biomedical analysis systems with unique characteristics.Cantilever sensors rely on relatively well known and simple transduction principles, and have attracted the interest of many researchers. This is, at least in part, because of the merging of silicon microfabrication techniques and surface functionalization biochemistry, together with the development of multi-cantilever sensing methods offering new opportunities in physical and (bio)chemical sensing.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(02)05139-8