Myeongsoon Lee, Seong H. Kim, Don Kim, Hak Jun Kim

Rapid and Easy Detection of Microcystin-LR Using a Bioactivated Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotube-Based Field-Effect Transistor Sensor

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • General Medicine
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Instrumentation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

In this study, we developed a multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-based field-effect transistor (MWCNT-FET) sensor with high sensitivity and selectivity for microcystin-LR (MC-LR). Carboxylated MWCNTs were activated with an MC-LR-targeting aptamer (MCTA). Subsequently the bioactivated MWCNTs were immobilized between interdigitated drain (D) and source (S) electrodes through self-assembly. The top-gated MWCNT-FET sensor was configured by dropping the sample solution onto the D and S electrodes and immersing a Ag/AgCl electrode in the sample solution as a gate (G) electrode. We believe that the FET sensor’s conduction path arises from the interplay between the MCTAs, with the applied gate potential modulating this path. Using standard instruments and a personal computer, the sensor’s response was detected in real-time within a 10 min time frame. This label-free FET sensor demonstrated an impressive detection capability for MC-LR in the concentration range of 0.1–0.5 ng/mL, exhibiting a lower detection limit of 0.11 ng/mL. Additionally, the MWCNT-FET sensor displayed consistent reproducibility, a robust selectivity for MC-LR over its congeners, and minimal matrix interferences. Given these attributes, this easily mass-producible FET sensor is a promising tool for rapid, straightforward, and sensitive MC-LR detection in freshwater environments.

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