Pocketable Biosensor Based on Quartz-Crystal Microbalance and Its Application to DNA Detection

Sensors (Basel). 2022 Dec 27;23(1):281. doi: 10.3390/s23010281.


Quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) is a technique that can measure nanogram-order masses. When a receptor is immobilized on the sensor surface of a QCM device, the device can detect chemical molecules captured by the mass change. Although QCM devices have been applied to biosensors that detect biomolecules without labels for biomolecular interaction analysis, most highly sensitive QCM devices are benchtop devices. We considered the fabrication of an IC card-sized QCM device that is both portable and battery-powered. Its miniaturization was achieved by repurposing electronic components and film batteries from smartphones and wearable devices. To demonstrate the applicability of the card-sized QCM device as a biosensor, DNA-detection experiments were performed. The card-sized QCM device could detect specific 10-mer DNA chains while discerning single-base differences with a sensitivity similar to that of a conventional benchtop device. The card-sized QCM device can be used in laboratories and in various other fields as a mass sensor.

Keywords: DNA hybridization; IC card size; biosensor; quartz-crystal microbalance; single-base mismatch detection.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques* / methods
  • DNA
  • Quartz Crystal Microbalance Techniques
  • Quartz*


  • Quartz
  • DNA

Grants and funding

This research was funded by the Adaptable and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-Driven R&D (A-STEP) funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), grant number (JPMJTM19AN). This research was supported by Piezo Parts Co., Ltd. as collaborative research.