Development of wireless DNA microarray sensors

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Date

2010-08

Authors

Chow, Kwok-Fan

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Abstract

The development of wireless DNA microelectrochemical microarray sensors is described. The operational principles of these sensors are based on bipolar electrochemistry. Bipolar electrodes are used to fabricate the wireless microarrays in this work. The systems are configured so that DNA sensing is carried out at the cathodic end of a bipolar electrode (BPE) and the result of the sensing experiment is reported at the anodic end of the BPE.

There are two types of reporting platforms developed in this study. The first type relies on the emission of electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL). The system is configured so that ECL is emitted at the anodic end of the BPE when the target DNA is hybridized to the capture probe DNA immobilized on the cathodic end of the BPE. However, when there is no hybridization reaction occurs, there is no ECL emission on the electrode surface.

The second type of reporting platform developed is based on silver electrodissolution at the anodic end of a BPE. When a reduction reaction occurs at the cathodic end of a BPE, it triggers oxidation and dissolution of silver deposited at the anodic end of the BPE. The loss of silver can easily be detected by the naked eye. This detection principle is used for DNA detection: when the target DNA is hybridized to capture probe DNA on the BPE, the BPE becomes shorter. However, if target DNA does not hybridize to the electrode surface, the length of the BPE remains the same.

The BPE microarrays described in this work eliminate the need for complicated microfabrication procedures and instrumentation. For example, as many as 1000 BPEs can be simultaneously controlled using just two driving electrodes and a simple power supply. To fully utilize BPE microarrays for specific sensing tasks, a method based on robotic spotting was developed to modify the cathodic end of each BPE in the array. Because each BPE in a microarray is individually addressable, this development allows each BPE to perform a particular sensing operation.

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