Self-assembled peptides-modified flexible field-effect transistors for tyrosinase detection

iScience. 2021 Dec 22;25(1):103673. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.103673. eCollection 2022 Jan 21.


Flexible biosensors have received intensive attention for real-time, non-invasive monitoring of cancer biomarkers. Highly sensitive tyrosinase biosensors, which are important for melanoma screening, remained a hurdle. Herein, high-performance tyrosinase-sensing field-effect transistor-based biosensors (bio-FETs) have been successfully achieved by self-assembling nanostructured tetrapeptide tryptophan-valine-phenylalanine-tyrosine (WVFY) on n-type metal oxide transistors. In the presence of target tyrosinase, the phenolic hydroxyl groups in WVFY are rapidly converted to benzoquinone with the consumption of protons, which could be detected potentiometrically by bio-FETs. As a result, the WVFY-modified bio-FETs exhibited an ultra-low detection limit of 1.9 fM and an optimal detection range of 10 fM to 1 nM toward tyrosinase sensing. Furthermore, flexible devices fabricated on ∼2.9-μm-thick polyimide (PI) substrates illustrated robust mechanical flexibility, which could be attached to human skin conformally. These achievements hold promise for wearable melanoma screening and provide designing guidelines for detecting other important cancer biomarkers with bio-FETs.

Keywords: Bioelectronics; Molecular self-assembly; Sensor.