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Hybridization in nanostructured DNA monolayers probed by AFM: theory versus experiment

TitleHybridization in nanostructured DNA monolayers probed by AFM: theory versus experiment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBosco, A, Bano, F, Parisse, P, Casalis, L, DeSimone, A, Micheletti, C
JournalNanoscale. 2012 Mar; 4(5):1734-41

Nanografted monolayers (NAMs) of DNA show novel physico-chemical properties that make them ideally suited for advanced biosensing applications. In comparison with alternative solid-phase techniques for diagnostic DNA detection, NAMs have the advantage of combining a small size with a high homogeneity of the DNA surface coverage. These two properties favour the extreme miniaturization and ultrasensitivity in high-throughput biosensing devices. The systematic use of NAMs for quantitative DNA (and protein) detection has so far suffered from the lack of a control on key fabrication parameters, such as the ss- or ds-DNA surface coverage. Here we report on a combined experimental-computational study that allows us to estimate the surface density of the grafted DNA by analyzing the sample mechanical response, that is the DNA patch height vs. applied tip load curves. It is shown that the same analysis scheme can be used to detect the occurrence of hybridization with complementary strands in solution and estimate its efficiency. Thanks to these quantitative relationships it is possible to use a single AFM-based setup to: (i) fabricate a DNA NAM, (ii) control the DNA surface coverage, and (iii) characterize its level of hybridization helping the design of NAMs with pre-determined fabrication parameters.


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