DNA-Conjugated Metal Nanoparticles: Application in Chip Detection


Wolfgang Fritzsche Department of Biotechnical Microsystems, Institute for Physical High Technology (IPHT)

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Metal nanoparticles exhibit interesting optical, electronic, and catalytic properties, which are primarily based on their small size and their high surface-to-bulk ratio. By the application of standard processes of chemical synthesis, large numbers of particles with a narrow size distribution can be prepared in a size range between 1 and 100 nm. The properties of these nanoparticles are often different from bulk materials of the same kind and are usually influenced by the particle size. A typical example is the color of gold nanoparticles, as apparent in colored glass from the middle ages or in the labeling solutions used in light and electron microscopy. Other examples are the quantized behavior of electrons tunneling onto gold nanoparticles under low-temperature conditions, and the surface enhancement of Raman spectroscopy for molecules adsorbed onto the surface of metal particles.

To access these interesting properties, an integration of the nanoparticles in technological systems is needed. This integration could be based on the long tradition of bioconjugated nanoparticles in biological microscopy, which is explained in details in this paper. Thus DNA-modified nanoparticles could play an important part in DNA chip detection and, furthermore, establish a novel, multidisciplinary approach in molecular nanotechnology.