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Anal Chim Acta. 2008 Dec 23;630(2):161-7. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2008.09.069. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

A biofunctional polymeric coating for microcantilever molecular recognition.

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  • 1Chemistry for Technologies Laboratory, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy. giulio.oliviero@ing.unibs.it


An innovative route to activate silicon microcantilevers (MCs) for label free molecular recognition is presented. The method consists in coating the underivatized MCs with a functional ter-polymer based on N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA) bearing N-acryloyloxysuccinimide (NAS) and 3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl-methacrylate (MAPS), two functional monomers that confer to the polymer the ability to react with nucleophilic species on biomolecules and with glass silanols, respectively. The polymer was deposited onto MCs by dip coating. Polymer coated MCs were tested in both static and dynamic modes of actuation, featuring detection of DNA hybridization as well as protein/protein interaction. In the dynamic experiments, focused on protein detection, the MCs showed an average mass responsivity of 0.4 Hz/pg for the first resonant mode and of 2.5 Hz/pg for the second resonant mode. The results of the static experiments, dedicated to DNA hybridization detection, allowed for direct estimation of the DNA duplex formation energetics, which resulted fully consistent with the nominal expected values. These results, together with easiness and cheapness, high versatility, and excellent stability of the recognition signal, make the presented route a reliable alternative to standard SAM functionalization (for microcantilevers (MCs) and for micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) in general).

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