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5 March 2014 Understanding and mitigating DNA induced corrosion in porous silicon based biosensors
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Porous silicon structures have been demonstrated as effective biosensors due to their large surface area, size-selective filtering capabilities, and tunable optical properties. However, porous silicon surfaces are highly susceptible to oxidation and corrosion in aqueous environments and solutions containing negative charges. In DNA sensing applications, porous silicon corrosion can mask the DNA binding signal as the typical increase in refractive index that results from a hybridization event can be countered by the decrease in refractive index due to corrosion of the porous silicon matrix. Such signal ambiguity should be eliminated in practical devices. In this work, we carefully examined the influence of charge density and surface passivation on the corrosion process in porous silicon waveguides in order to control this process in porous silicon based biosensors. Both increased DNA probe density and increased target DNA concentration enhance the corrosion process, leading to an overall blueshift of the waveguide resonance. While native porous silicon structures degrade upon prolonged exposure to solutions containing negative charges, porous silicon waveguides that are sufficiently passivated to prevent oxidation/corrosion in aqueous solution exhibit a saturation effect in the corrosion process, which increases the reliability of the sensor. For practical implementation of porous silicon DNA sensors, the negative charges from DNA must be mitigated. We show that a redshift of the porous silicon waveguide resonance results from either replacing the DNA target with neutral charge PNA or introducing Mg2+ ions to shield the negative charges of DNA.
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Yiliang Zhao, Jenifer L. Lawrie, Paul E. Laibinis, and Sharon M. Weiss "Understanding and mitigating DNA induced corrosion in porous silicon based biosensors", Proc. SPIE 8933, Frontiers in Biological Detection: From Nanosensors to Systems VI, 893302 (5 March 2014);


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