Point-of-care diagnostics show promise in removing reliance on centralized lab testing facilities and may help increase both the survival rate for infectious diseases as well as monitoring of chronic illnesses. CMOS compatible diagnostic platforms are currently being considered as possible solutions as they can be easily miniaturized and can be cost-effective. Top-down fabricated silicon nanowires are a CMOS-compatible technology which have demonstrated high sensitivities in detecting biological analytes, such as proteins, DNA, and RNA. However, the reported response of nanowires to these analytes has varied widely since several different functionalization protocols have been attempted with little characterization and comparison. Here we report protocols for fabrication and functionalization of silicon nanowires which yield highly stable nanowires in aqueous solutions and limits of detection to ∼1 pg/mL of the model protein used in the study. A thorough characterization was done into optimizing the release of the silicon nanowires using combined dry and wet etch techniques, which yielded nanowires that could be directly compared to increase output statistics. Moreover, a range of different linker chemistries were tried for reacting the primary antibody, and its response to target and nonspecific antigens, with polyethylene glycol based linker BS(PEG)5 providing the best response. Consequently, this chemistry was used to characterize different oxide thicknesses and their responses to the mouse IgG antigen, which with the smallest oxide thickness yielded 0.1-1 pg/mL limits of detection and a dynamic range over 3 orders of magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9493-9500
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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