Increasing the Sensitivity of Electrochemical DNA Detection by a Micropillar-Structured Biosensing Surface

Jacopo Movilli, Ruben W. Kolkman, Andrea Rozzi, Roberto Corradini, Loes I. Segerink, Jurriaan Huskens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


The available active surface area and the density of probes immobilized on this surface are responsible for achieving high specificity and sensitivity in electrochemical biosensors that detect biologically relevant molecules, including DNA. Here, we report the design of gold-coated, silicon micropillar-structured electrodes functionalized with modified poly-l-lysine (PLL) as an adhesion layer to concomitantly assess the increase in sensitivity with the increase of the electrochemical area and control over the probe density. By systematically reducing the center-to-center distance between the pillars (pitch), denser micropillar arrays were formed at the electrode, resulting in a larger sensing area. Azido-modified peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes were click-reacted onto the electrode interface, exploiting PLL with appended oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) and dibenzocyclooctyne (DBCO) moieties (PLL-OEG-DBCO) for antifouling and probe binding properties, respectively. The selective electrochemical sandwich assay formation, composed of consecutive hybridization steps of the target complementary DNA (cDNA) and reporter DNA modified with the electroactive ferrocene functionality (rDNA-Fc), was monitored by quartz crystal microbalance. The DNA detection performance of micropillared electrodes with different pitches was evaluated by quantifying the cyclic voltammetric response of the surface-confined rDNA-Fc. By decrease of the pitch of the pillar array, the area of the electrode was enhanced by up to a factor 10.6. A comparison of the electrochemical data with the geometrical area of the pillared electrodes confirmed the validity of the increased sensitivity of the DNA detection by the design of the micropillar array.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4272-4279
Number of pages8
JournalLangmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Increasing the Sensitivity of Electrochemical DNA Detection by a Micropillar-Structured Biosensing Surface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this