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

Join For Free

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 4,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,300+ 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
Accelerating the Detection of Foodborne Bacterial Outbreaks
The speed of diagnosis of foodborne bacterial outbreaks could be improved by a new technique developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Cancer Gene Predicts Treatment Response in Leukaemia
Study indicates the patients suffering from a lethal for of acute myeloid leukemia may live longer when receiving milder chemotherapy drugs.
New Diagnostic Tool for Familial Mediterranean Fever
A new tool developed by researchers at VIB and Ghent University could improve the process of diagnosing Familial Mediterranean Fever.
'Lab on the Skin' for Sweat Analysis
Northwestern University researchers develop a low-cost wearable electronic device that collects and analyzes sweat for health monitoring.
Molecular Signature for Aggressive Brain Tumor Uncovered
Researchers have identified genetic mutations in a highly agressive brain cancer that distinguishes the agressive, from the benign forms of the cancer.
Malaria Parasite Evades Rapid Test Detection in Children
A study at the University of North Carolina found that gene deletion poses a threat to Malaria eradication efforts.
Novel Urine Test to Predict High-Risk Cervical Cancer
Preliminary studies affirm accuracy and potential cost savings to screen for virus-caused malignancy.
GFC Diagnostics Wins Longitude Prize Discovery Award
The global award was won for the development of a cheap, quick and simple MRSA Test.
Understanding Circulating Tumour Cells
Research team develops new tool to track traveling cancer cells in the bloodstream.
Blood Glucose Monitoring Device for Diabetes
Novel breathalyzer offers alternative to finger stick testing for people with type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
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
4,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!