PMMA biosensor for nucleic acids with integrated mixer and electrochemical detection

Department of Biological & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, United States.
Biosensors & Bioelectronics (Impact Factor: 6.41). 04/2009; 24(8):2428-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.bios.2008.12.025
Source: PubMed


This paper discusses the design, microfabrication and use of an electrochemical biosensor based on a polymer substrate for cost effectiveness and disposability. As model analyte, amplified hsp70 mRNA from Cryptosporidium parvum was chosen. Microfluidic channels were fabricated in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) using hot embossing with a copper master. The electrochemical transducer, an interdigitated ultramicroelectrode array (IDUA) was also realized directly on the PMMA surface. First, the unstructured PMMA surface was UV functionalized. An 8 min UV treatment resulted in a carboxylic acid density of approximately 8 nmol/cm(2) on the PMMA surface. The surface carboxylic acid groups were then conjugated to cystamine using water-soluble carbodiimide chemistry. Gold (200 nm) was then evaporated onto the thiol-functionalized surface. Using standard photolithography techniques, the IDUA containing 10 microm wide electrodes with 5 microm gaps was then formed followed by a gold etch. The PMMA surface containing the microchannel was subsequently bonded to the PMMA surface containing the IDUA using UV-assisted thermal bonding. The additional UV treatment also served to decrease the water contact angle of the surface from 62.5 degrees +/-0.7 degrees to 48.4 degrees +/-0.2 degrees thus, aiding with the capillary flow in the device. The hsp70 mRNA was isolated from C. parvum oocysts and amplified using nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA). The amplicon was detected in a sandwich hybridization assay with capture probe-coated superparamagnetic beads and reporter probe-tagged liposomes. The liposomes entrapped potassium ferro/ferrihexacyanide to enable amperometric quantification of the amplicon on the IDUA. Amplified mRNA from only 1 oocyst was detectable with this PMMA biosensor. The final detection device measured approximately 10 mm x 40 mm x 3 mm and contained two detection channels for dual analyses.

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