A nanochannel array-based electrochemical device for quantitative label-free DNA analysis

ACS Nano. 2010 Nov 23;4(11):6417-24. doi: 10.1021/nn101050r. Epub 2010 Oct 19.


A strategy for label-free oligonucleotide (DNA) analysis has been proposed by measuring the DNA-morpholino hybridization hindered diffusion flux of probe ions Fe(CN)(6)(3-) through nanochannels of a porous anodic alumina (PAA) membrane. The flux of Fe(CN)(6)(3-) passing through the PAA nanochannels is recorded using an Au film electrochemical detector sputtered at the end of the nanochannels. Hybridization of the end-tethered morpholino in the nanochannel with DNA forms a negatively charged DNA-morpholino complex, which hinders the diffusion of Fe(CN)(6)(3-) through the nanochannels and results in a decreased flux. This flux is strongly dependent on ionic strength, nanochannel aperture, and target DNA concentration, which indicates a synergetic effect of steric and electrostatic repulsion effects in the confined nanochannels. Further comparison of the probe flux with different charge passing through the nanochannels confirms that the electrostatic effect between the probe ions and DNA dominates the hindered diffusion process. Under optimal conditions, the present nanochannel array-based DNA biosensor gives a detection limit of 0.1 nM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum Oxide / chemistry
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electrochemistry / instrumentation*
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Morpholines / chemistry
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Porosity
  • Static Electricity


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Morpholines
  • morpholine
  • DNA
  • Aluminum Oxide