Redox polymer and probe DNA tethered to gold electrodes for enzyme-amplified amperometric detection of DNA hybridization

Paul Kavanagh, Dónal Leech*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


The detection of nucleic acids based upon recognition surfaces formed by co-immobilization of a redox polymer mediator and DNA probe sequences on gold electrodes is described. The recognition surface consists of a redox polymer, [Os(2,2′-bipyridme) 2(potyvinylimidazole) 10Cl] +/2+, and a model single DNA strand cross-linked and tethered to a gold electrode via an anchoring self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of cysteamine. Hybridization between the immobilized probe DNA of the recognition surface and a biotin-conjugated target DNA sequence (designed from the ssrA gene of Listeria monocytogenes), followed by addition of an enzyme (glucose oxidase)-avidin conjugate, results in electrical contact between the enzyme and the mediating redox polymer. In the presence of glucose, the current generated due to the catalytic oxidation of glucose to gluconolactone is measured, and a response is obtained that is binding-dependent. The tethering of the probe DNA and redox polymer to the SAM improves the stability of the surface to assay conditions of rigorous washing and high salt concentration (1 M). These conditions eliminate nonspecific interaction of both the target DNA and the enzyme-avidin conjugate with the recognition surfaces. The sensor response increases linearly with increasing concentration of target DNA in the range of 1 × 10 -9 to 2 × 10 -6 M. The detection limit is ∼1.4 fmol, (corresponding to 0.2 nM of target DNA). Regeneration of the recognition surface is possible by treatment with 0.25 M NaOH solution. After rehybridization of the regenerated surface with the target DNA sequence, >95% of the current is recovered, indicating that the redox polymer and probe DNA are strongly bound to the surface. These results demonstrate the utility of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2710-2716
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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