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Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes As Enhancing Substrates For PNA-Based Amperometric Genosensors

Simone Fortunati, Andrea Rozzi, Federica Curti, Marco Giannetto, Roberto Corradini, Maria Careri

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A new amperometric sandwich-format genosensor has been implemented on single-walled carbon nanotubes screen printed electrodes (SWCNT-SPEs) and compared in terms of performance with analogous genoassays developed using the same methodology on non-nanostructured glassy carbon platforms (GC-SPE). The working principle of the genosensors is based on the covalent immobilization of Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) capture probes (CP) on the electrode surface, carried out through the carboxylic functions present on SWCNT-SPEs (carboxylated SWCNT) or electrochemically induced on GC-SPEs. The sequence of the CP was complementary to a 20-mer portion of the target DNA; a second biotin-tagged PNA signalling probe (SP), with sequence complementary to a different contiguous portion of the target DNA, was used to obtain a sandwich hybrid with an Alkaline Phosphatase-streptavidin conjugate (ALP-Strp). Comparison of the responses obtained from the SWCNT-SPEs with those produced from the non-nanostructured substrates evidenced the remarkable enhancement effect given by the nanostructured electrode platforms, achieved both in terms of loading capability of PNA probes and amplification of the electron transfer phenomena exploited for the signal transduction, giving rise to more than four-fold higher sensitivity when using SWCNT-SPEs. The nanostructured substrate allowed to reach limit of detection (LOD) of 71 pM and limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 256 pM, while the corresponding values obtained with GC-SPEs were 430 pM and 1.43 nM, respectively.