DNA hybridization detection with 100 zM sensitivity using piezoelectric plate sensors with an improved noise-reduction algorithm†
We have examined real-time, in situ hybridization detection of target DNA (tDNA) in a buffer solution and in urine using 8 μm-thick lead magnesium niobate–lead titanate (PMN–PT) piezoelectric plate sensors (PEPSs) about 1.1–1.2 mm long and 0.45 mm wide with improved 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MPS) insulation and a new multiple-parabola (>50) resonance peak position fitting algorithm. With probe DNA (pDNA) immobilized on the PEPS surface and by monitoring the first width extension mode (WEM) resonance frequency shift we detected tDNA in real time at concentration as low as 1 × 10−19 M in urine (100 zM) with a signal to noise ratio (SNR) of 13 without DNA isolation and amplification at room temperature in 30 min. The present multiple-parabola fitting algorithm increased the detection of SNR by about 10 times compared to those obtained using the raw data and by about 5 times compared to those obtained using single parabola fitting. The detection was validated by in situ follow-up detection and subsequent visualization of fluorescent reporter microspheres (FRMs) coated with reporter DNA complementary to the tDNA but different from the probe pDNA.