An electrochemical aptamer-based sensor prepared by utilizing the strong interaction between a DNA aptamer and diamond†
Stable and continuous biosensing of electroactive species in vivo has been achieved by using boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes owing to their outstanding electrochemical properties. However, the present problem in biosensing using BDD electrodes is how to specifically measure/detect the target molecules, including electrochemically inactive species. A possible solution is to fabricate an electrochemical aptamer-based (E-AB) sensor using a BDD electrode. In a preliminary investigation, we found that DNA aptamers strongly adsorb on the BDD surface and the aptamer-adsorbed BDD apparently worked as an E-AB sensor. The present study reports the performance of the aptamer-adsorbed BDD electrode as an E-AB sensor. Doxorubicin (DOX), a widely used chemotherapeutic, was chosen as a target molecule. The sensor could be prepared by just dipping BDD in an aptamer solution for only 30 min, and the electrochemical signals were dependent on the DOX concentration. The adsorption of DNA was strong enough for continuous measurements and even a sonication treatment. Such behaviors were not observed when using gold and glassy carbon electrodes. In a kinetic measurement, distortion by a sluggish response was observed for both association and dissociation phases, indicating that the interaction between DOX and the aptamer involves several kinetic processes. By fitting to a Langmuir isotherm, a limit of detection of 49 nM and a maximum detectable concentration of 2.3 μM were obtained. Although the sensitivity was lower than those of the well-established E-AB sensors of gold, the values are within a drug's therapeutic range. Overall, the present work demonstrates that a DNA aptamer and a BDD electrode is an effective combination for an E-AB sensor with stable sensitivity, and a wide variety of DNA aptamers can be applied without any special treatment.