A new electronic sensor array developed at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) could pave the way to more rapid, accurate and cost-efficient DNA analysis.
Human DNA is usually detected through the expensive and cumbersome process of polymerase chain reaction, which amplifies a single piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude.
Now the IBN's Nanogap Sensor Arraym which comes with a pair of micro-sized metal electrodes, can translate the presence of DNA into an electrical signal for computer analysis.
It can also capture DNA strands more effectively because the two surfaces of the sensor are coated with a chemically treated capture probe solution through an electrochemical technique.
Dr Zhiqiang Gao, IBN group leader, commented: "The novel vertical nanostructure design and two different surfaces of the sensor allow ultrasensitive detection of DNA.
"This sensitivity is best-in-class among electrical DNA biosensors."
Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research recently awarded S$27.5 million (£11.7 million) to local scientists in order to further research in sustainable development.