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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Feb 11;126(5):1563-8.

An investigation of the mechanisms of electronic sensing of protein adsorption on carbon nanotube devices.

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Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


It has been reported that protein adsorption on single-walled carbon nanotube field effect transistors (FETs) leads to appreciable changes in the electrical conductance of the devices, a phenomenon that can be exploited for label-free detection of biomolecules with a high potential for miniaturization. This work presents an elucidation of the electronic biosensing mechanisms with a newly developed microarray of nanotube "micromat" sensors. Chemical functionalization schemes are devised to block selected components of the devices from protein adsorption, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of methoxy(poly(ethylene glycol))thiol (mPEG-SH) on the metal electrodes (Au, Pd) and PEG-containing surfactants on the nanotubes. Extensive characterization reveals that electronic effects occurring at the metal-nanotube contacts due to protein adsorption constitute a more significant contribution to the electronic biosensing signal than adsorption solely along the exposed lengths of the nanotubes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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