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Amyloid-beta peptide detection via aptamer-functionalized nanowire sensors exploiting single-trap phenomena

: Kutovyi, Y.; Hlukhova, H.; Boichuk, N.; Menger, M.; Offenhäusser, A.; Vitusevich, S.


Biosensors & bioelectronics 154 (2020), Art. 112053
ISSN: 0956-5663
ISSN: 1873-4235
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()

New highly sensitive direct methods for the early detection of peptides involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are required in order to prolong effective and healthy memory and thinking capabilities and also to stop the factors resulting in AD. In this contribution, we report the successful demonstration of a label-free approach for the detection of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides by highly selective aptamers immobilized onto the SiO2 surface of the fabricated sensors. A modified single-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (ssDNA) aptamer was specially designed and synthesized to detect the target amyloid beta-40 sequence (Aβ-40). Electrolyte–insulator–semiconductor (EIS) structures as well as silicon (Si) nanowire (NW) field-effect transistors (FETs) covered with a thin SiO2 dielectric layer have been successfully functionalized with Aβ-40-specific aptamers and used to detect ultra-low concentrations of the target peptide. The binding of amyloid-beta peptides of different concentrations to the surface of the sensors varied in the range from 0.1 pg/ml to 10 μg/ml resulting in a change of the surface potential was registered by the fabricated devices. Moreover, we show that the single-trap phenomena observed in the novel Si two-layer (TL) NW FET structures with advanced characteristic parameters can be effectively used to increase the sensitivity of nanoscale sensors. The obtained experimental data demonstrate a highly sensitive and reliable detection of ultra-low concentrations of the Aβ-40 peptides. This opens up prospects for the development of real-time electrical biosensors for studying and understanding different stages of AD by utilizing Si TL NW FET structures fabricated on the basis of cost-efficient CMOS-compatible technology.