Conventional electronic biomolecular sensors use charge transfer across an electrically biased electrode-electrolyte interface as the detection mechanism. Specificity to a single analyte molecule is possible by functionalizing the electrode with an engineered protein. Recent research at Stanford has introduced a new type of electronic biomolecular sensor, in which the interface is designed to transduce information about intra-molecular bond vibrational frequencies of non-redox active molecular species. This information can be observed in the tunneling current vs. voltage signature across a nanoscale electrochemical interface, if (i) it is designed to operate between the adiabatic and non-adiabatic charge-transfer regimes and (ii) the current is measured using an ultralow noise potentiostat
In this talk, I will first discuss the design guidelines for the nanoscale electrochemical interface, which are derived from a circuit model based on a quantum mechanical analysis of the intermediate tunneling regime. For the initial demonstration of the nanoscale sensing interface, serial prototyping techniques (e.g., focused ion beam etching) were utilized. Current vs. voltage scans demonstrate the operating regimes of the interface and its ability to detect subtle differences in analytes, such as leucine and 2-d leucine, the latter having a single substitution of H with D. In conclusion, I will describe the pattern recognition strategy to quantify the concentration of the neurotoxin BoNT-A in human serum.
Speaker: Roger Howe, Stanford University
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