A method of layer-by-layer gold nanoparticle hybridization in a quartz crystal microbalance DNA sensing system used to detect dengue virus.Nanotechnology. 2009 May 27; 20(21):215501.N
Dengue virus (DENV) is nowadays the most important arthropod-spread virus affecting humans existing in more than 100 countries worldwide. A rapid and sensitive detection method for the early diagnosis of infectious dengue virus urgently needs to be developed. In the present study, a circulating-flow quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) biosensing method combining oligonucleotide-functionalized gold nanoparticles (i.e. AuNP probes) used to detect DENV has been established. In the DNA-QCM method, two kinds of specific AuNP probes were linked by the target sequences onto the QCM chip to amplify the detection signal, i.e. oscillatory frequency change (DeltaF) of the QCM sensor. The target sequences amplified from the DENV genome act as a bridge for the layer-by-layer AuNP probes' hybridization in the method. Besides being amplifiers of the detection signal, the specific AuNP probes used in the DNA-QCM method also play the role of verifiers to specifically recognize their target sequences in the detection. The effect of four AuNP sizes on the layer-by-layer hybridization has been evaluated and it is found that 13 nm AuNPs collocated with 13 nm AuNPs showed the best hybridization efficiency. According to the nanoparticle application, the DNA-QCM biosensing method was able to detect dengue viral RNA in virus-contaminated serum as plaque titers being 2 PFU ml(-1) and a linear correlation (R(2) = 0.987) of DeltaF versus virus titration from 2 x 10(0) to 2 x 10(6) PFU ml(-1) was found. The sensitivity and specificity of the present DNA-QCM method with nanoparticle technology showed it to be comparable to the fluorescent real-time PCR methods. Moreover, the method described herein was shown to not require expensive equipment, was label-free and highly sensitive.