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Anal Chem. 2013 Jul 16;85(14):6682-7. doi: 10.1021/ac400475z. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Charge-based detection of small molecules by plasmonic-based electrochemical impedance microscopy.

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School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287, United States.


Charge-based detection of small molecules is demonstrated by plasmonic-based electrochemical impedance microscopy (P-EIM). The dependence of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) on surface charge density is used to detect small molecules (60-120 Da) printed on a dextran-modified sensor surface. Local variations in charge density on an electrode surface are manifest in an optical SPR signal. The SPR response to an applied ac potential measures the sensor surface impedance which is a function of the surface charge density. This optical signal is comprised of a dc and an ac component, and is measured with high spatial resolution. The dc element of the SPR signal represents conventional SPR imaging information. The amplitude and phase of local surface impedance is provided by the ac component. The phase signal of the small molecules is a function of their charge status, which is manipulated by the pH of a solution. Small molecules with positive, neutral, and negative charge are detected by P-EIM. This technique is used to detect and distinguish small molecules based on their charge status, thereby circumventing the mass limitation (~100 Da) of conventional SPR measurement.

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