Development of a mass sensitive quartz crystal microbalance (QCM)-based DNA biosensor using a 50 MHz electronic oscillator circuit

Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(8):7656-64. doi: 10.3390/s110807656. Epub 2011 Aug 3.


This work deals with the design of a high sensitivity DNA sequence detector using a 50 MHz quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) electronic oscillator circuit. The oscillator circuitry is based on Miller topology, which is able to work in damping media. Calibration and experimental study of frequency noise are carried out, finding that the designed sensor has a resolution of 7.1 ng/cm(2) in dynamic conditions (with circulation of liquid). Then the oscillator is proved as DNA biosensor. Results show that the system is able to detect the presence of complementary target DNAs in a solution with high selectivity and sensitivity. DNA target concentrations higher of 50 ng/mL can be detected.

Keywords: DNA sequence detection; electronic oscillator; frequency noise; quartz crystal microbalance; resolution; sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques* / methods
  • Calibration
  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA / chemistry
  • Disulfides / chemistry
  • Electrochemistry / methods
  • Electronics
  • Equipment Design
  • Oscillometry / methods
  • Physics / methods
  • Quartz Crystal Microbalance Techniques*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Disulfides
  • DNA