Giant Magnetoresistive Sensors for DNA Microarray

IEEE Trans Magn. 2008 Nov 1;44(11):3989-3991. doi: 10.1109/TMAG.2008.2002795.


Giant magnetoresistive (GMR) sensors are developed for a DNA microarray. Compared with the conventional fluorescent sensors, GMR sensors are cheaper, more sensitive, can generate fully electronic signals, and can be easily integrated with electronics and microfluidics. The GMR sensor used in this work has a bottom spin valve structure with an MR ratio of 12%. The single-strand target DNA detected has a length of 20 bases. Assays with DNA concentrations down to 10 pM were performed, with a dynamic range of 3 logs. A double modulation technique was used in signal detection to reduce the 1/f noise in the sensor while circumventing electromagnetic interference. The logarithmic relationship between the magnetic signal and the target DNA concentration can be described by the Temkin isotherm. Furthermore, GMR sensors integrated with microfluidics has great potential of improving the sensitivity to 1 pM or below, and the total assay time can be reduced to less than 1 hour.