Public Release: 

Nanosphere announces DNA detection breakthrough published in Science

Nanosphere, Inc.

Northbrook, Ill., February 22, 2002 - Nanosphere Inc. today announced that researchers at Northwestern University have developed a nanoparticle-based DNA detection system with 10 times more sensitivity and 100,000 times more specificity than current genomic detection systems. Results were published in the February 22 issue of Science.

The technology, which will be commercialized by Nanosphere, uses electrical conductivity measurements facilitated by gold nanoparticle probes. The ultra-sensitive and specific detection probes eliminate the need for time- and cost-intensive PCR/fluorophore-based approaches with the potential to dramatically simplify traditional analysis procedures. This work builds on the foundation of nanoparticle technology research conducted by Northwestern University professors and Nanosphere co-founders Chad Mirkin, Ph.D. and Robert Letsinger, Ph.D.

"This research represents a revolutionary advance and paradigm shift in the evolution of genomic-based point-of-care diagnostics," said Chad Mirkin, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Director, Northwestern University Institute for Nanotechnology and Nanosphere co-founder. "The nanoparticle probe detection systems will lower the cost, improve the quality, and dramatically decrease the time to market for hand-held molecular testing devices."


Nanosphere, a venture capital-backed company, is a nanotechnology-based life sciences company in Northbrook, Illinois that is focused on developing assays for genomic and proteomic research, clinical laboratories and point-of-care markets. It has created a strategic partnership with IDEO Design and Development headquartered in Palo Alto, California, to commercialize its first generation of detection systems. Nanosphere was founded in 2000 by Northwestern University professors Chad Mirkin, Ph.D., and Robert Letsinger, Ph.D., and is privately held. For more information about Nanosphere's pipeline and activities, visit the company's web site at

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