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Issue 11, 2010
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Theoretical detection limits of magnetic biobarcode sensors and the phase space of nanobiosensing

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Abstract

A scaling theory of the sub atto-molar (aM) detection limits of magnetic particle (MP) based biosensors (e.g., bio-barcode assays) is developed and discussed. Despite the dramatic differences of sensing protocols and detection limits, the MP-based sensors can be interpreted within the same theoretical framework as any other classical biosensor (e.g., nanowire sensors), except that these sensors are differentiated by the geometry of diffusion and the probe (ρMP)/target (ρT) density ratio. Our model predicts two regimes for biomolecule detection: For classical biosensors with ρMPρT, the response time Image ID:c0an00477d-t1.gif; while for MP-based biosensors with Image ID:c0an00477d-t2.gif. The theory (i) explains the performance improvement of MP-sensors by Image ID:c0an00477d-t3.gif (order of 103–106), broadly validating the sub-aM detection limits reported in literature, (ii) offers intuitive interpretation for the counter-intuitive ρT-independence of detection time in MP-sensors, (iii) shows that statistical fluctuations should reduce with ρT for MP sensors, and (iv) offers obvious routes to sensitivity improvement of classical sensors.

Graphical abstract: Theoretical detection limits of magnetic biobarcode sensors and the phase space of nanobiosensing

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jul 2010, accepted on 30 Jul 2010 and first published on 02 Sep 2010


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C0AN00477D
Citation: Analyst, 2010,135, 2798-2801
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    Theoretical detection limits of magnetic biobarcode sensors and the phase space of nanobiosensing

    P. R. Nair and M. A. Alam, Analyst, 2010, 135, 2798
    DOI: 10.1039/C0AN00477D

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