Label-free single-molecule detection of DNA-hybridization kinetics with a carbon nanotube field-effect transistor.
ABSTRACT Single-molecule measurements of biomolecules can provide information about the molecular interactions and kinetics that are hidden in ensemble measurements. However, there is a requirement for techniques with improved sensitivity and time resolution for use in exploring biomolecular systems with fast dynamics. Here, we report the detection of DNA hybridization at the single-molecule level using a carbon nanotube field-effect transistor. By covalently attaching a single-stranded probe DNA sequence to a point defect in a carbon nanotube, we are able to measure two-level fluctuations in the conductance of the nanotube in the presence of a complementary DNA target. The kinetics of the system are studied as a function of temperature, allowing the measurement of rate constants, melting curves and activation energies for different sequences and target concentrations. The kinetics demonstrate non-Arrhenius behaviour, in agreement with DNA hybridization experiments using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. This technique is label-free and could be used to probe single-molecule dynamics at microsecond timescales.
SourceAvailable from: Briony C Strachan[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In a recent publication, we presented a label-free method for the detection of specific DNA sequences through the hybridization-induced aggregation (HIA) of a pair of oligonucleotide-adducted magnetic particles. Here we show, through the use of modified hardware, that we are able to simultaneously analyze multiple (4) samples, and detect a 26-mer ssDNA sequence at femtomolar concentrations in minutes. As such, this work represents an improvement in throughput and a 100-fold improvement in sensitivity, compared to that reported previously. Here, we also investigate the design parameters of the target sequence, in an effort to maximize the sensitivity of HIA and to use as a guide in future applications of this work. Modifications were made to the original 26-mer oligonucleotide sequence to evaluate the effects of: (1) non-complementary flanking bases, (2) target sequence length, and (3) single base mismatches on aggregation response. The aggregation response decreased as the number of the non-complementary flanking bases increased, with only a five base addition lowering the LOD by four orders of magnitude. Low sensitivity was observed with short sequences of 6 and 10 complementary bases, which were only detectable at micromolar concentrations. Target sequences with 20, 26 or 32 complementary bases provided the greatest sensitivity and were detectable at femtomolar concentrations. Additionally, HIA could effectively differentiate sequences that were fully complementary from those containing 1, 2 or 3 single base mismatches at micromolar concentrations. The robustness of the HIA system to other buffer components was explored with nine potential assay interferents that could affect hybridization (aggregation) or falsely induce aggregation. Of these, purified BSA and lysed whole blood induced a false aggregation. None of the interferents inhibited aggregation when the hybridizing target was added. Having delineated the fundamental parameters affecting HIA-target hybridization, and demonstrating that HIA had the selectivity to detect single base mismatches, this fluor-free end-point detection has the potential to become a powerful tool for microfluidic DNA detection.The Analyst 02/2015; DOI:10.1039/c4an02101k · 3.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In the last decade the use of field-effect-based devices has become a basic structural element in a new generation of biosensors that allow label-free DNA analysis. In particular, ion sensitive field effect transistors (FET) are the basis for the development of radical new approaches for the specific detection and characterization of DNA due to FETs' greater signal-to-noise ratio, fast measurement capabilities, and possibility to be included in portable instrumentation. Reliable molecular characterization of DNA and/or RNA is vital for disease diagnostics and to follow up alterations in gene expression profiles. FET biosensors may become a relevant tool for molecular diagnostics and at point-of-care. The development of these devices and strategies should be carefully designed, as biomolecular recognition and detection events must occur within the Debye length. This limitation is sometimes considered to be fundamental for FET devices and considerable efforts have been made to develop better architectures. Herein we review the use of field effect sensors for nucleic acid detection strategies—from production and functionalization to integration in molecular diagnostics platforms, with special focus on those that have made their way into the diagnostics lab.Sensors 01/2015; 15:10380-10398. DOI:10.3390/s150510380 · 2.05 Impact Factor