The Heat-Transfer Method: A Versatile Low-Cost, Label-Free, Fast, and User-Friendly Readout Platform for Biosensor Applications

Bart van Grinsven*, Kasper Eersels, Marloes Peeters, Patricia Losada-Perez, Thijs Vandenryt, Thomas J. Cleij, Patrick Wagner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In recent years, biosensors have become increasingly important in various scientific domains including medicine, biology, and pharmacology, resulting in an increased demand for fast and effective readout techniques. In this Spotlight on Applications, we report on the recently developed heat-transfer method (HTM) and illustrate the use of the technique by zooming in on four established bio(mimetic) sensor applications: (i) mutation analysis in DNA sequences, (ii) cancer cell identification through surface-imprinted polymers, (iii) detection of neurotransmitters with molecularly imprinted polymers, and (iv) phase-transition analysis in lipid vesicle layers. The methodology is based on changes in heat-transfer resistance at a functionalized solid liquid interface. To this extent, the device applies a temperature gradient over this interface and monitors the temperature underneath and above the fimctionalized chip in time. The heat-transfer resistance can be obtained by dividing this temperature gradient by the power needed to achieve a programmed temperature. The low-cost, fast, label-free and user-friendly nature of the technology in combination with a high degree of specificity, selectivity, and sensitivity makes HTM a promising sensor technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13309-13318
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2014


  • biosensors
  • heat-transfer method
  • DNA
  • cancer cells
  • neurotransmitters
  • lipid vesicles

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