Biosensors & bioelectronics

A novel probe density controllable electrochemiluminescence biosensor for ultra-sensitive detection of Hg2+ based on DNA hybridization optimization with gold nanoparticles array patterned self-assembly platform.

PMID 23732860


Biosensor based on DNA hybridization holds great potential to get higher sensitivity as the optimal DNA hybridization efficiency can be achieved by controlling the distribution and orientation of probe strands on the transducer surface. In this work, an innovative strategy is reported to tap the sensitivity potential of current electrochemiluminescence (ECL) biosensing system by dispersedly anchoring the DNA beacons on the gold nanoparticles (GNPs) array which was electrodeposited on the glassy carbon electrode surface, rather than simply sprawling the coil-like strands onto planar gold surface. The strategy was developed by designing a "signal-on" ECL biosensing switch fabricated on the GNPs nanopatterned electrode surface for enhanced ultra-sensitivity detection of Hg(2+). A 57-mer hairpin-DNA labeled with ferrocene as ECL quencher and a 13-mer DNA labeled with Ru(bpy)3(2+) as reporter were hybridized to construct the signal generator in off-state. A 31-mer thymine (T)-rich capture-DNA was introduced to form T-T mismatches with the loop sequence of the hairpin-DNA in the presence of Hg(2+) and induce the stem-loop open, meanwhile the ECL "signal-on" was triggered. The peak sensitivity with the lowest detection limit of 0.1 nM was achieved with the optimal GNPs number density while exorbitant GNPs deposition resulted in sensitivity deterioration for the biosensor. We expect the present strategy could lead the renovation of the existing probe-immobilized ECL genosensor design to get an even higher sensitivity in ultralow level of target detection such as the identification of genetic diseases and disorders in basic research and clinical application.