Amplified electrocatalysis at DNA-modified nanowires

Nano Lett. 2005 Jun;5(6):1051-5. doi: 10.1021/nl050483a.


Arrayed gold nanowires are a novel and useful platform for electrochemical DNA detection. Pilot studies testing the use of these templated structures with an electrocatalytic reporter system revealed that very low detection thresholds for target DNA sequences can be obtained. One factor contributing to the heightened sensitivity is the high signal-to-noise ratio achieved with the large electrocatalytic signals observed at DNA-modified nanowires. Here, we explain the improved sensitivity with evidence illustrating that electrocatalysis at DNA-modified nanostructures generates amplified signals that are significantly larger than those observed at bulk gold surfaces. The results presented strongly suggest that the three-dimensional architectures of the nanowires facilitate the electrocatalytic reaction because of enhanced diffusion occurring around these structures. Effects unique to the nanoscale are shown to underlie the utility of nanowires for DNA biosensing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Catalysis
  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA Probes
  • Electrochemistry / instrumentation
  • Electrochemistry / methods*
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Nanostructures
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation


  • DNA Probes
  • Gold
  • DNA