Programmable graphene-based microfluidic sensor for DNA detection

Agnes Purwidyantri*, Andrey Ipatov, Telma Domingues, Jérôme Borme, Marco Martins, Pedro Alpuim*, Marta Prado

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the development of a lab-on-a-chip (LoC) by integrating a graphene field-effect transistor (FET) chip with a programmable microfluidic device for DNA detection. The real-time biochemical events on the graphene FET chip were monitored through Dirac voltage shift data from the portable graphene curve reader with changes dependent on the fluidic flow into the sensing interface by a fully automated programmable microfluidic system. High sensitivity with high reliability can be obtained with a nine-graphene sensor layout on a single chip. The portable graphene curve reader also provides a tunable electrical parameter setup and straightforward data acquisition. Fluidic control was performed through a multi-position valve, allowing sequential commands for liquid injection into the polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) flow cell mounted on the sensing chip. The flow cell design with impinging jet geometry and the microfluidic system packaging offer high precision and portability as a less laborious and low-cost sensing setup. The merged system allows for various functionalities, including probe DNA (pDNA) immobilization, a blocking step, and DNA hybridization with stable signal output autonomously, even in a long-run experimental setup. As a DNA sensor, the proposed prototype has demonstrated a high sensitivity of ~44 mV/decade of target DNA concentration, with an outstanding limit of detection (LoD) of ~0.642 aM, making it one of the most sensitive sensors reported up to date. The programmable device has demonstrated essential versatilities for biomolecular detection in a fully portable and automated platform.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132044
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Early online date26 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by PORTGRAPHE-Control of Port and Douro Wines authenticity using graphene DNA sensors project co-funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia ( FCT ) Portugal ( PTDC/BIA-MOL/31069/2017 ) and the ERDF through COMPETE2020 ( POCI-01–0145-FEDER-031069 ). One of the authors (Telma Domingues) acknowledges a Ph.D. grant from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) Portugal (SFRH/BD/08181/2020). FCT partially supported University of Minho´s research in the Strategic Funding UIDB/04650/2020 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • DNA sensor
  • Graphene field-effect transistor (FET)
  • Lab-on-a-chip (LoC)
  • Programmable microfluidic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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