Layer-by-layer biofunctionalization of nanostructured porous silicon for high-sensitivity and high-selectivity label-free affinity biosensing

Stefano Mariani, Valentina Robbiano, Lucanos M. Strambini, Aline Debrassi, G. Egri, Lars Dähne, Giuseppe Barillaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Nanostructured materials premise to revolutionize the label-free biosensing of analytes for clinical applications, leveraging the deeper interaction between materials and analytes with comparable size. However, when the characteristic dimension of the materials reduces to the nanoscale, the surface functionalization for the binding of bioreceptors becomes a complex issue that can affect the performance of label-free biosensors. Here we report on an effective and robust route for surface biofunctionalization of nanostructured materials based on the layer-by-layer (LbL) electrostatic nano-assembly of oppositely-charged polyelectrolytes, which are engineered with bioreceptors to enable label-free detection of target analytes. LbL biofunctionalization is demonstrated using nanostructured porous silicon (PSi) interferometers for affinity detection of streptavidin in saliva, through LbL nano-assembly of a bi-layer of positively-charged poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and negatively-charged biotinylated poly(methacrylic acid) (b-PMAA). High sensitivity in streptavidin detection is achieved, with high selectivity and stability, down to a detection limit of 600 fM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5256
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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