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Biosens Bioelectron. 2009 Mar 15;24(7):1995-2001. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2008.10.012. Epub 2008 Nov 1.

Real-time, multiplexed electrochemical DNA detection using an active complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor biosensor array with integrated sensor electronics.

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  • 1Bioelectronic Systems Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.


Optical biosensing based on fluorescence detection has arguably become the standard technique for quantifying extents of hybridization between surface-immobilized probes and fluorophore-labeled analyte targets in DNA microarrays. However, electrochemical detection techniques are emerging which could eliminate the need for physically bulky optical instrumentation, enabling the design of portable devices for point-of-care applications. Unlike fluorescence detection, which can function well using a passive substrate (one without integrated electronics), multiplexed electrochemical detection requires an electronically active substrate to analyze each array site and benefits from the addition of integrated electronic instrumentation to further reduce platform size and eliminate the electromagnetic interference that can result from bringing non-amplified signals off chip. We report on an active electrochemical biosensor array, constructed with a standard complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology, to perform quantitative DNA hybridization detection on chip using targets conjugated with ferrocene redox labels. A 4 x 4 array of gold working electrodes and integrated potentiostat electronics, consisting of control amplifiers and current-input analog-to-digital converters, on a custom-designed 5 mm x 3 mm CMOS chip drive redox reactions using cyclic voltammetry, sense DNA binding, and transmit digital data off chip for analysis. We demonstrate multiplexed and specific detection of DNA targets as well as real-time monitoring of hybridization, a task that is difficult, if not impossible, with traditional fluorescence-based microarrays.

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