Format of Original
Biosensors and Bioelectronics
A magnetoresistive biosensing platform based on a single magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) scanning probe and DNA microarrays labeled with magnetic particles has been developed to provide an inexpensive, sensitive and reliable detection of DNA. The biosensing platform was demonstrated on a DNA microarray assay for quantifying bacteria capable of degrading methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), where concentrations as low as 10 pM were detectable. Synthetic probe bacterial DNA was immobilized on a microarray glass slide surface, hybridized with the 48 base pair long biotinylated target DNA and subsequently incubated with streptavidin-coated 2.8 μm diameter magnetic particles. The biosensing platform then makes use of a micron-sized MTJ sensor that was raster scanned across a 3 mm by 5 mm glass slide area to capture the stray magnetic field from the tagged DNA and extract two dimensional magnetic field images of the microarray. The magnetic field output is then averaged over each 100 μm diameter DNA array spot to extract the magnetic spot intensity, analogous to the fluorescence spot intensity used in conventional optical scanners. The magnetic scanning result is compared with results from a commercial laser scanner and particle coverage optical counting to demonstrate the dynamic range and linear sensitivity of the biosensing platform as a potentially inexpensive, sensitive and portable alternative for DNA microarray detection for field applications.