Dependence of yield of nuclear track-biosensors on track radius and analyte concentration

H. García-Arellano, G. Muñoz H., D. Fink, J. Vacik, V. Hnatowicz, L. Alfonta, A. Kiv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In swift heavy ion track-based polymeric biosensor foils with incorporated enzymes one exploits the correlation between the analyte concentration and the sensor current, via the enrichment of charged enzymatic reaction products in the track's confinement. Here we study the influence of the etched track radius on the biosensor's efficiency. These sensors are analyte-specific only if both the track radii and the analyte concentration exceed certain threshold values of ∼15 nm and ∼10−6 M (for glucose sensing), respectively. Below these limits the sensor signal stems un-specifically from any charge carrier. In its proper working regime, the inner track walls are smoothly covered by enzymes and the efficiency is practically radius independent. Theory shows that the measured current should be slightly sub-proportional to the analyte concentration; the measurements roughly reconfirm this. Narrower tracks (∼5–15 nm radius) with reduced enzyme coverage lead to decreasing efficiency. Tiny signals visible when the tracks are etched to effective radii between 0 and ∼5 nm are tentatively ascribed to enzymes bonded to surface-near nano-cracks in the polymer foil, resulting from its degradation due to aging, rather than to the tracks. Precondition for this study was the accurate determination of the etched track radii, which is possible only by a nanofluidic approach. This holds to some extent even for enzyme-covered tracks, though in this case most of the wall charges are compensated by enzyme bonding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Biosensor
  • Enzyme
  • Etching
  • Ion track
  • Nanofluidics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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