Rapid Bio-Molecules Detection by Adjacent Impedance Probing (AIP) Techniques
Background: Today, most detection schemes for DNA, proteins and other large biomolecules involve luminescent measurements using a variety of labels (i.e. fluorescent and/or chemiluminescent probes, photoproteins, etc.) and the binding of these large molecules to their complementary molecular structures (e.g., complimentary oligo-nucleotide hybridization and ligand binding protein or antibody binding). While spectroscopic methods afford the necessary sensitivity for most of these measurements, the cost of the equipment can be high, and therefore, less expensive alternatives would be highly desirable. Technology: Researchers at the University of California have developed an inexpensive electronic detection techniques for DNA, proteins, and other biomolecules. This electronic detection scheme is based on our novel Adjacent Impedance Probing (AIP) technique. In this novel method, the DNA hybridization site is employed for the bio-recognition event (this site does not necessarily need an underlying conductor surface) and a bare adjacent conductor electrode is employed for generating the largest possible impedance change through the deposition of an insulating material or through chemical passivation induced by the enzymatic reporter reaction. The signal to noise ratio (S/N) will be dramatically increased by the AIP technique compared to the prior art of detecting on the same electrode. The impedance of the bare electrode will be lower to begin with and will not be subject to the irreproducibility associated with forming a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of probe molecules on its surface. The AIP electrode will be placed in very close proximity to the site with the molecular probes and impedance amplifying species will change the impedance of the adjacent electrode either through precipitation or passivation. Application: We believe that fast electronic DNA and protein detection methods based on the AIP detection schemes introduced here could replace the conventional, more expensive luminescence assays employed in clinical diagnostics and make point-of-care DNA and protein assays possible in the physician's office, at the bedside in clinics, at home, or in the battlefield.
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