Spatially controlled electro-stimulated DNA adsorption and desorption for biochip applications

Andrew L. Hook, Helmut Thissen, Jason P. Hayes, Nicolas H. Voelcker

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38 Citations (Scopus)


The manipulation of biomolecules at solid/liquid interfaces is important for the enhanced performance of a number of biomedical devices, including biochips. This study focuses on the spatial control of surface interactions of DNA as well as the electro-stimulated adsorption and desorption of DNA by appropriate surface modification of highly doped p-type silicon. Surface modification by plasma polymerisation of allylamine resulted in a surface that supported DNA adsorption and sustained cell attachment. Subsequent high-density grafting of poly(ethylene oxide) formed a low fouling layer resistant to biomolecule adsorption and cell attachment. Spatially controlled excimer laser ablation of the surface produced patterns of re-exposed plasma polymer with high-resolution. On patterned surfaces, preferential electro-stimulated adsorption of DNA to the allylamine plasma polymer surface and subsequent desorption by the application of a negative bias was observed. Furthermore, the concept presented here was investigated for use in transfection chips. Cell culture experiments with human embryonic kidney cells, using the expression of green fluorescent protein as a reporter, demonstrated efficient and controlled transfection of cells. Electro-stimulated desorption of DNA was shown to yield significantly enhanced solid phase transfection efficiencies to values of up to 30%. The ability to spatially control DNA adsorption combined with the ability to control the binding and release of DNA by application of a controlled voltage enables an advanced level of control over DNA bioactivity on solid substrates and lends itself to biochip applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2137-2145
Number of pages9
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA adsorption
  • DNA desorption
  • PEO
  • Plasma polymerisation
  • Surface modification
  • Transfection

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