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Precise capture and dynamic relocation of nanoparticulate biomolecules through dielectrophoretic enhancement by vertical nanogap architectures

Abstract: Toward the development of surface-sensitive analytical techniques for biosensors and diagnostic biochip assays, a local integration of low-concentration target materials into the sensing region of interest is essential to improve the sensitivity and reliability of the devices. As a result, the dynamic process of sorting and accurate positioning the nanoparticulate biomolecules within pre-defined micro/nanostructures is critical, however, it remains a huge hurdle for the realization of practical surface-sensitive biosensors and biochips. A scalable, massive, and non-destructive trapping methodology based on dielectrophoretic forces is highly demanded for assembling nanoparticles and biosensing tools. Herein, we propose a vertical nanogap architecture with an electrode-insulator-electrode stack structure, facilitating the generation of strong dielectrophoretic forces at low voltages, to precisely capture and spatiotemporally manipulate nanoparticles and molecular assemblies, including lipid vesicles and amyloid-beta protofibrils/oligomers. Our vertical nanogap platform, allowing low-voltage nanoparticle captures on optical metasurface designs, provides new opportunities for constructing advanced surface-sensitive optoelectronic sensors.

Nature Communications volume 11, Article number: 2804 (2020)

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