Highly-sensitive and label-free indium phosphide biosensor for early phytopathogen diagnosis
The development of highly-sensitive and label-free operating semiconductor-based, biomaterial detecting sensors has important applications in areas such as environmental science, biomedical research and medical diagnostics. In the present study, we developed an Indium Phosphide (InP) semiconductor-based resistive biosensor using the change of its electronic properties upon biomaterial adsorption as sensing element. To detect biomaterial at low concentrations, the procedure of functionalization and covalent biomolecule immobilization was also optimized to guarantee high molecule density and high reproducibility which are prerequisite for reliable results. The characterization, such as biomolecular conjugation efficiency, detection concentration limits, recepton:ligand specificity and concentration detection range was analyzed by using three different biological systems: i) synthetic dsDNA and two phytopathogenic diseases, ii) the severe CB-form of Citrus Tristeza Virus (CIV) and iii) Xylella fastidiosa, both causing great economic loss worldwide. The experimental results show a sensitivity of 1 pM for specific ssDNA detection and about 2 nM for the specific detection of surface proteins of CTV and X fastidiosa phytopathogens. A brief comparison with other semiconductor based biosensors and other methodological approaches is discussed and confirms the high sensitivity and reproducibility of our InP based biosensor which could be suitable for reliable early infection diagnosis in environmental and life sciences. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.