Effect of microelectrode structure on electrocatalysis at nucleic acid-modified sensors

Langmuir. 2014 Dec 2;30(47):14322-8. doi: 10.1021/la502990s. Epub 2014 Nov 20.


The electrochemical detection of nucleic acids using an electrocatalytic reporter system and nanostructured microelectrodes is a powerful approach to ultrasensitive biosensing. In this report we systematically study for the first time the behavior of an electrocatalytic reporter system at nucleic acid-modified electrodes with varying structures and sizes. [Ru(NH3)6](3+) is used as a primary electron acceptor that is electrostatically attracted to nucleic acid-modified electrodes, and [Fe(CN)6](3-) is introduced into the redox system as a secondary electron acceptor to regenerate Ru(3+) after electrochemical reduction. We found that the electrode structure has strong impact on mass transport and electron-transfer kinetics, with structures of specific dimensions yielding much higher electrochemical signals and catalytic efficiencies. The electrocatalytic signals obtained when gold sensors were electrodeposited in both circular and linear apertures were studied, and the smallest structures plated in linear apertures were found to exhibit the best performance with high current densities and turnover rates. This study provides important information for optimal assay performance and insights for the future design and fabrication of high performance biomolecular assays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Electrochemistry / methods*
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Nucleic Acids / chemistry*


  • Nucleic Acids