Strategies towards advanced ion track-based biosensors

L. Alfonta, O. Bukelman, A. Chandra, W. R. Fahrner, D. Fink, D. Fuks, V. Golovanov, V. Hnatowicz, K. Hoppe, A. Kiv, I. Klinkovich, M. Landau, J. R. Morante, N. V. Tkachenko, J. Vacík, M. Valden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Three approaches towards ion track-based biosensors appear to be feasible. The development of the first one began a decade ago [Siwy, Z.; Trofin, L.; Kohl, P.; Baker, L.A.; Martin, C.R.; Trautmann, C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 5000-5001; Siwy, Z.S.; Harrell, C.C.; Heins, E.; Martin, C.R.; Schiedt, B.; Trautmann, C.; Trofin, L.; Polman, A. Presented at the 6th International Conference on Swift Heavy Ions in Matter, Aschaffenburg, Germany, May 28-31, 2005] and makes use of the concept that the presence of certain biomolecules within liquids can block the passage through narrow pores if being captured there, thus switching off the pore's electrical conductivity. The second, having been successfully tested half a year ago [Fink, D.; Klinkovich, I.; Bukelman, O.; Marks, R.S.; Fahrner, W.; Kiv, A.; Fuks, D.; Alfonta, L. Biosens. Bioelectron. 2009, 24, 2702-2706], is based on the accumulation of enzymatic reaction products within the confined volume of narrow etched ion tracks which modifies the pore's electrical conductivity. The third and most elegant, at present under development, will exploit the charge transfer from enzymes to semiconductors embedded within etched tracks, enabling the enzymes undergoing specific reactions with the biomolecules to be detected. These strategies can be realized either within carrier-free nanoporous polymeric membranes embedded in the corresponding bioliquids, or within contacted nanoporous insulating layers on semiconducting substrates, the so-called TEMPOS structures [Fink, D.; Petrov, A.; Hoppe, H.; Fahrner, W.R.; Papaleo, R.M.; Berdinsky, A.; Chandra, A.; Biswas, A.; Chadderton, L.T. Nucl. Instrum. Methods B 2004, 218, 355-361]. The latter have the advantage of exhibiting a number of peculiar electronic properties, such as the ability for logic and/or combination of input signals, tunable polarity, negative differential resistances, tunability by external parameters such as light, magnetic fields, etc. and self-pulsations, which should enable one to design intelligent autonomous biosensors. It also appears possible to let the enzymatic reactions take place on the surface of carbon nanotubes embedded within such TEMPOS structures. The advantages and disadvantages of all these approaches will be compared with each other, in respect to detection selectivity, sensitivity and accuracy, as well as sensor reproducibility, reusability and stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-437
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Effects and Defects in Solids
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Biosensors
  • Charge transfer
  • Chemical reactions
  • Electronics
  • Enzymes
  • Etched tracks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Strategies towards advanced ion track-based biosensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this