Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Ultrasensitive Electronic Sensor Array Speeds Up DNA Detection

Date:
August 28, 2009
Source:
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Summary:
A novel electronic sensor array for more rapid, accurate and cost-efficient testing of DNA for disease diagnosis and biological research has shown "excellent" sensitivity at detecting trace amounts of DNA.

A novel electronic sensor array for more rapid, accurate and cost-efficient testing of DNA for disease diagnosis and biological research has been developed by scientists at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN).

In a recent article published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, IBN scientists reported that based on laboratory results, their Nanogap Sensor Array has shown "excellent" sensitivity at detecting trace amounts of DNA.

"By saving time and lowering expenses, our newly developed Nanogap Sensor Array offers a scalable and viable alternative for DNA testing," said Zhiqiang Gao, Ph.D., Group Leader at IBN, the world's first bioengineering and nanotechnology research institute.

The biosensor translates the presence of DNA into an electrical signal for computer analysis. The distinctively designed sensor chip has the ability to detect DNA more efficiently by "sandwiching" the DNA strands between the two different surfaces.

"The novel vertical nanostructure design and two different surfaces of the sensor allow ultrasensitive detection of DNA," added Dr. Gao. "This sensitivity is best-in-class among electrical DNA biosensors. The design of the sensor also took into consideration the feasibility of mass production in a cost-effective way for expanded usage."

Conventionally, human DNA is detected through the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which while effective, is also expensive, cumbersome and time-consuming for widespread use. The PCR technique amplifies a single piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, duplicating millions or more copies of a particular DNA sequence, in order to detect the genetic material more easily.

Although effective, tests involving PCR may not be optimal for situations such as a pandemic outbreak, where results are needed quickly because PCR devices tend to be bulky and costly.

The Nanogap Sensor Array has a unique, vertically aligned nanostructure design and a two-surface configuration based on electronic transduction. The sensor comes with a pair of micro-sized metal electrodes separated by a nanogap (5 - 20 nm or about 1/50,000 the width of a human hair).

Another distinctive feature of the biosensor is its ability to capture DNA strands more effectively. This is possible because the two surfaces of the sensor are coated with a chemically treated "capture probe" solution through an electrochemical technique specially developed by IBN. This allows DNA strands to "stick" more easily to the sensor, resulting in a faster and more accurate analysis.

"This new biosensor holds significant promise to speed up on-going efforts in the detection and diagnosis of debilitating diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular problems and infectious viruses. We aim to make healthcare accessible to the masses with early disease diagnosis as the critical driving force behind the research we undertake here at IBN," added Jackie Y. Ying, Ph.D., Executive Director of IBN, one of the research institutes of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roy et al. Mass-Produced Nanogap Sensor Arrays for Ultrasensitive Detection of DNA. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2009; 131 (34): 12211 DOI: 10.1021/ja901704t

Cite This Page:

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "New Ultrasensitive Electronic Sensor Array Speeds Up DNA Detection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826113825.htm>.
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. (2009, August 28). New Ultrasensitive Electronic Sensor Array Speeds Up DNA Detection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826113825.htm
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. "New Ultrasensitive Electronic Sensor Array Speeds Up DNA Detection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826113825.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jets Fuel Jump in Boeing's Revenue

Jets Fuel Jump in Boeing's Revenue

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 23, 2014) A sharp rise in revenue for commercial jets offset a decline in Boeing's defense business. And a big increase in deliveries lifted profitability. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins