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Biosens Bioelectron. 2002 Jan;17(1-2):1-12.

Self-assembled monolayers as a tunable platform for biosensor applications.

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  • 1Physical & Materials Chemistry Division, National Chemical Laboratory, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pune 411 008, India.


Considerable attention has been drawn during the last two decades to functionalize noble metal surfaces by forming ordered organic films of few nm to several hundred-nm thickness. Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) provides one simple route to functionalize electrode surfaces by organic molecules (both aliphatic and aromatic) containing free anchor groups such as thiols, disulphides, amines, silanes, or acids. The monolayer produced by self-assembly allows tremendous flexibility with respect to several applications depending upon their terminal functionality (hydrophilic or hydrophobic control) or by varying the chain length (distance control). For example, SAM of long chain alkane thiol produces a highly packed and ordered surface, which can provide a membrane like microenvironment, useful for immobilising biological molecules. The high selectivity of biological molecules integrated with an electrochemical, optical or piezoelectric transduction mode of analyte recognition offers great promise to exploit them as efficient and accurate biosensors. It is demonstrated with suitable examples that monolayer design plays a key role in controlling the performance of these SAM based biosensors, irrespective of the immobilisation strategy and sensing mechanism.

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