Biology has become a mainstream field of research, fostering interactions between scientists specialized in physics, technology, and mathematics. The complexity of biological systems is full of challenges that can only be elucidated with the development of multiple techniques dedicated to the characterization of biological transactions. Micro- and nano-technologies offer new solutions to manipulate and sense single cells or molecules with exquisite precision. Their complementarity with respect to conventional molecular biology techniques is well established, yet their impact in molecular/cellular biology practices were disappointing compared to initial anticipations.
Starting from our own research at the frontiers of physics and biology, we will show that the manipulation of biomolecules in confined channels is full of promisse for bioanalytical sciences. Furthermore this research field raises challenging questions of physics on the transport properties of matter in confined geometries.