Effects of gold nanoparticle and electrode surface properties on electrocatalytic silver deposition for electrochemical DNA hybridization detection

Ming Hung Thomas Lee, Hong Cai, I. Ming Hsing

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we report the catalytic effects of various gold nanoparticles for silver electrodeposition on indium tin oxide (ITO)-based electrodes, and successfully apply this methodology for signal amplification of the hybridization assay. The most widely used gold nanoparticle-based hybridization indicators all promote silver electrodeposition on the bare ITO electrodes, with decreasing catalytic capability in order of 10 nm gold, DNA probe-10 nm gold conjugate, streptavidin-5 nm gold, and streptavidin-10 nm gold. Of greater importance, these electrocatalytic characteristics are affected by any surface modifications of the electrode surfaces. This is illustrated by coating the ITO with an electroconducting polymer, poly(2-aminobenzoic acid) (PABA), as well as avidin molecules, which are promising immobilization platforms for DNA biosensors. The catalytic silver electrodeposition of the gold nanoparticles on the PABA-coated ITO surfaces resembles that on the bare surfaces. With avidin covalently bound to the PABA, it is interesting to note that the changes in electrocatalytic performance vary for different types of gold nanoparticles. For the streptavidin-5 nm gold, the silver electrodeposition profile is unaffected by the presence of the avidin layer, whereas for both the 10 nm Au and DNA probe-10 nm gold conjugate, the deposition profiles are suppressed. The streptavidin-5 nm gold is employed as the hybridization indicator, with avidin-modified (via PABA) ITO electrode as the immobilization platform, to enable signal amplification by the silver electrodeposition process. Under the conditions, this detection strategy offers a signal-to-noise ratio of 20. We believe that this protocol has great potential for simple, reproducible, highly selective and sensitive DNA detection on fully integrated microdevices in clinical diagnostics and environmental monitoring applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-369
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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