Engineering nanostructured porous SiO2 surfaces for bacteria detection via "direct cell capture"

Naama Massad-Ivanir, Giorgi Shtenberg, Adi Tzur, Maksym A. Krepker, Ester Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An optical label-free biosensing platform for bacteria detection (Escherichia coli K12 as a model system) based on nanostructured oxidized porous silicon (PSiO2) is introduced. The biosensor is designed to directly capture the target bacteria cells on its surface with no prior sample processing (such as cell lysis). The optical reflectivity spectrum of the PSiO2 nanostructure displays Fabry-Pérot fringes characteristic of thin-film interference, enabling direct, real-time observation of bacteria attachment within minutes. The PSiO2 optical nanostructure is synthesized and used as the optical transducer element. The porous surface is conjugated with specific monoclonal antibodies (immunoglobulin G's) to provide the active component of the biosensor. The immobilization of the antibodies onto the biosensor system is confirmed by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, fluorescent labeling experiments, and refractive interferometric Fourier transform spectroscopy. We show that the immobilized antibodies maintain their immunoactivity and specificity when attached to the sensor surface. Exposure of these nanostructures to the target bacteria results in "direct cell capture" onto the biosensor surface. These specific binding events induce predictable changes in the thin-film optical interference spectrum of the biosensor. Our preliminary studies demonstrate the applicability of these biosensors for the detection of low bacterial concentrations. The current detection limit of E. coli K12 bacteria is 104 cells/mL within several minutes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3282-3289
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry


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