Researchers from the University of Bath, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern publish in the journal Nano Letters the very first worldwide report on the development of an ultrasensitive electrochemical biosensor employing DNA aptamers and memristive effect.
The strategy involves the modification of memristive silicon nanowires (NW) with DNA aptamers followed by monitoring the hysteretic properties of the device.
The nanofabricated memristive devices fabricated at EPFL were used to obtain the best ever-fabricated ultrasensitive electrochemical biosensor for the label-free detection protein-specific antigen (PSA) as a case study, which is a well-known biomarker for prostate cancer.
Dr Pedro Estrela from the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering said: "Our paper reports the development of a definitely new and innovative memristive aptasensor based on the potentiometric and impedimetric detection method. Such a strategy provides a detection technique that gives reliable and validated output data. The memristive aptasensor demonstrated an ultra-low detection limit, well below the clinically relevant range of PSA. Moreover, such devices based on silicon technology can be easily integrated into lab-on-a-chip and point-of-care formats for cancer diagnostics."
The work is of great significance for the field of label -free electrochemical nano-biosensors and, in particular, for the development of memristive aptasensors that can also address the well know issue of the early detection of cancer due to their possibility to detect extremely low traces of cancer markers in human tissues.