Sensors with Sparkle

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Science  27 Jun 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5884, pp. 1696-1697
DOI: 10.1126/science.320.5884.1696c

For sensing applications, diamond nanowires offer advantages in terms of stability, as well as the capacity for facile tailoring of electronic properties, both of the bulk material itself (through doping) and of the surface (through termination either with hydrogen or oxygen). Yang et al. have grown vertically aligned, boron-doped diamond nanowires at high density (3- to 10-nm-long wires spaced 11 nm apart) and anchored single-stranded DNA molecules to the ends via phenyl groups that were attached electrochemically. They found that the redox potentials and peak currents of the [Fe(CN)6]3−/[Fe(CN)6]4−couple, as measured by cyclic voltammetry, are highly sensitive to DNA hybridization in this environment and can reveal single-base mismatches in the incoming strands being detected, with a 2-pM sensitivity limit. — PDS

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 47, 10.1002/anie.200801706 (2008).

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