Transistor based detection of bio molecules

The international effort to sequence the human genome is well advanced. The information obtained in the form of a four letter alphabet represents an extremely precious basis for future investigations. Important forthcoming topics relate to the global analysis of the messenger RNA, the proteins, and the associated mechanisms of regulation; as well as the molecular characterisation of diseases. DNA and protein microarrays, which allow investigating many different molecular interactions in parallel, are two techniques which are particularly well suited for such global analysis

Hybridization, the specific recognition of DNA and RNA sequences by complementary base pairing, is central to fundamental biological processes like replication, transcription and translation and represents the basic principle of important techniques, like PCR and DNA microarrays. Our research aims DNA and protein microarrays with pure electronic detection, to avoid labelling, improve reliability and simplify read-out by integration with silicon based microelectronics. We already achieved detection of label-free DNA bound to the surface of integrated silicon field effect transistor arrays, detection of single base pair mutations by combining allele-specific PCR and transistor based measurements and detection of hybridization between DNA oligonucleotides.