The development of label-free optical biosensors could have a great impact on life sciences as well as on screening techniques for medical and environmental applications. Peptide nucleic acid (PNA) is a nucleic acid analog in which the sugar phosphate backbone of natural nucleic acid has been replaced by a synthetic peptide backbone, resulting in an achiral and uncharged mimic. Due to the uncharged nature of PNA, PNA-DNA duplexes show a better thermal stability respect the DNA-DNA equivalents. In this work, we used an optical biosensor, based on the porous silicon (PSi) nanotechnology, to detect PNA-DNA interactions. PSi optical sensors are based on changes of reflectivity spectrum when they are exposed to the target analytes. The porous silicon surface was chemically modified to covalently link the PNA which acts as a very specific probe for its ligand (cDNA).
International Society for Optics and Photonics
8 May 2008
Volume: 6991 Pages: 699120
Biophotonics: Photonic Solutions for Better Health Care