Probing molecular interactions with methylene blue derivatized self-assembled monolayers

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Publication details

JournalSensing and BioSensing Research
DateAccepted/In press - 2015
DatePublished (current) - 2015
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)1-6
Original languageEnglish


The emergence of stratified and personalised medicine and the associated need for highly multiplexed detection strategies are driving the development of innovative sensor technology. Electronic immunosensor arrays capable of label-free and highly parallel monitoring of ligand binding have emerged as a particularly promising technology capable of meeting these new diagnostic challenges. In this study, we present an approach for interrogating molecular interactions electronically using redox active molecular monolayers. Specifically, we have synthesised self-assembled molecular monolayers assembled from long-chain alkanethiols (LCAT) incorporating oligoethyleneglycol (OEG) linkers that can derivatized with a range of functional groups, including the redox active molecule methylene blue. Critically, we show that the electron transport properties of this redox-active monolayer are highly sensitive to the electrochemical environment, including the local concentration of protons and the electrostatic potential at the plane of electron transfer. Using a combination of cyclic voltammetry and QCM-D to study in detail the behaviour of the monolayer during functionalisation and analyte binding, we demonstrate that these redox properties can be exploited for the electrochemical sensing of molecular interactions (biotin-avidin in our case) on SAMs. Given the versatility of LCAT-OEG monolayers, in terms of linker lengths, choice of functional group, and ability to create mixed component layers and the straight-forward assembly of mixed SAMs of high quality, our electrochemical sensing approach forms an excellent and generic label-free platform for probing a wide range of molecular interactions.

    Research areas

  • Biosensors, Redox monolayers, Self-assembled monolayers

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