Food-borne pathogens and food safety-related outbreaks have come to the forefront over recent years. Estimates on the annual cost of sicknesses, hospitalizations, and deaths run into the billions of dollars. There is a large body of research on detection of food-borne pathogens; however, the widely accepted current systems are limited by costly reagents, lengthy time to completion, and expensive equipment. Our aim is to develop a label-free method for determining a change in DNA concentration after a PCR assay. We first used impedance spectroscopy to characterize the change in concentration of purified DNA in deionized water within a microfluidic biochip. To adequately measure the change in DNA concentration in PCR solution, it was necessary to go through a purification and precipitation step to minimize the effects of primers, PCR reagents, and excess salts. It was then shown that the purification and precipitation of the fully amplified PCR reaction showed results similar to the control tests performed with DNA in deionized water. We believe that this work has brought label free electrical biosensors for PCR amplification one step closer to reality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-982
Number of pages10
JournalBiomedical microdevices
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • DNA
  • Electrical detection
  • Label-free
  • Listeria
  • PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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