Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Molecular & Clinical Diagnostics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Hot Spots for Molecules

Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Last Updated: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Bookmark and Share
The accurate placement of molecules into gaps between gold nanoantennas enables ultra-high sensitivity molecular detection.

The ability to detect tiny quantities of molecules is important for chemical sensing as well as biological and medical diagnostics. In particular, some of the most challenging and advanced applications involve rare compounds for which only a few molecules may be present at a time.

The most promising devices for achieving ultrahigh-precision detection are nanoscale sensors, where molecules are placed in tiny gaps between small gold plates. But this method is effective only if the molecules are positioned accurately within the gaps.

Now, Jinghua Teng from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Singapore, and colleagues from the National University of Singapore, have developed a sensor where molecules are efficiently guided and placed into position.

The electronic resonances occurring in gold nanostructures are like very powerful antennas, able to amplify radiation from small molecules in their vicinity. This permits even the detection of single molecules. In order for the signal to be picked up by the antennas, however, the molecules need to be precisely located within electromagnetic ‘hot spots’.

“We approached this challenge and developed a method to selectively bind the molecules to the electromagnetic hot spots in the nanoantenna structure for maximum effect,” explains Teng.

The researchers needed to prepare the device surface such that the molecules bind only to the desired areas between the gold plates - not on them. They achieved this by depositing a thin titanium film between the gold plates. The titanium oxidizes in air, forming stable titanium dioxide, which is insulating and has very different properties to the gold plates.

The researchers then covered the surface with various organic solutions that selectively prevent proteins and other molecules from binding to the gold while attracting the molecules of interest to the titanium pad. In initial tests, signals from molecules attached to the titanium in the hot spot showed a six times higher sensitivity than those randomly attached across the device.

The next step will be to increase the sensor sensitivity to the ultimate limit, explains Teng. “People have been dreaming of and working toward single-molecule sensing. This work is part of these efforts. It provides a way to selectively bind biomolecules to the hot spots and proves that it can enhance the molecular sensitivity and reduce the amount of sample required.”

Further improvements in device design will however be required, adds Teng. “Moving forward, we would like to further push the sensitivity by optimizing the structure and try multi-agent sensing in one chip.”


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,400+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Long Telomeres Associated with Increased Lung Cancer Risk
Genetic predisposition for long telomeres predicts increased lung adenocarcinoma risk.
Paving the way to Better Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis
Aïcha BenTaieb will present her invention for automated identification of ovarian cancer’s many subtypes at an international conference this fall.
The Genetic Roots of Adolescent Scoliosis
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in collaboration with Keio University in Japan have discovered a gene that is linked to susceptibility of Scoliosis.
Diagnostic Test Developed for Enterovirus D68
researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a diagnostic test to quickly detect enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a respiratory virus that caused unusually severe illness in children last year.
Tracking Breast Cancer Before it Grows
A team of scientists led by University of Saskatchewan researcher Saroj Kumar is using cutting-edge Canadian Light Source techniques to screen and treat breast cancer at its earliest changes.
The Light of Fireflies for Medical Diagnostics
EPFL scientists have exploited the light of fireflies in a new method that detects biological molecules without the need for complex devices and high costs.
Could a simple saliva test detect Alzheimer's?
Researchers have presented findings suggesting that a simple, non-invasive diagnostic for Alzheimer's could be within reach.
Cheap Diagnostics with a Portable "Paper Machine"
Scientists have developed a cheap, portable system for point of care diagnostics for a range of infectious diseases, genetic conditions and cancer.
New Variant of Streptococcal Bacteria
Scientists have discovered a new variant of streptococcal bacteria that has contributed to a rise in disease cases in the UK over the last 17 years.
New Insights into “Antenna” of Human Cells
Scientists from the University of Leeds have uncovered the most comprehensive list yet of genes implicated in a group of common inherited diseases.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,400+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!