Detection and quantification through a lipid membrane using the molecularly controlled semiconductor resistor.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, Volume 28, Issue 1, p.1020-8 (2012)




Membranes, Artificial; Semiconductors


The detection of covalent and noncovalent binding events between molecules and biomembranes is a fundamental goal of contemporary biochemistry and analytical chemistry. Currently, such studies are performed routinely using fluorescence methods, surface-plasmon resonance spectroscopy, and electrochemical methods. However, there is still a need for novel sensitive miniaturizable detection methods where the sample does not have to be transferred to the sensor, but the sensor can be brought into contact with the sample studied. We present a novel approach for detection and quantification of processes occurring on the surface of a lipid bilayer membrane, by monitoring the current change through the n-type GaAs-based molecularly controlled semiconductor resistor (MOCSER), on which the membrane is adsorbed. Since GaAs is susceptible to etching in an aqueous environment, a protective thin film of methoxysilane was deposited on the device. The system was found to be sensitive enough to allow monitoring changes in pH and in the concentration of amino acids in aqueous solution on top of the membrane. When biotinylated lipids were incorporated into the membrane, it was possible to monitor the binding of streptavidin or avidin. The device modified with biotin-streptavidin complex was capable of detecting the binding of streptavidin antibodies to immobilized streptavidin with high sensitivity and selectivity. The response depends on the charge on the analyte. These results open the way to facile electrical detection of protein-membrane interactions.