Aptamer conjugated Mo6S9-xIx nanowires for direct and highly sensitive electrochemical sensing of thrombin

Martin McMullan, Nijuan Sun, Pagona Papakonstantinou, Meixian Li, Wuzong Zhou, Dragan Mihailovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate the use of a novel electrochemical sensing platform based on aptamer conjugated Mo6S9-xIx nanowires (MoSI NWs) for the highly sensitive detection of the blood clotting enzyme thrombin. MoSI NWs nanowires were self-assembled on a gold electrode to which thrombin binding aptamers were covalently attached. The modification and immobilization steps of the electrodes were characterised by cyclic voltammetry along with high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The platform is based on the creation of a self-assembled MoSI MW layer via the sulfur-gold affinity followed by the creation of MoSI-thiolated aptamer conjugates via the sulfur-sulfur affinity. Using this system, sensitive quantitative detection of thrombin is realized by monitoring differences of differential pulse voltammetric responses of electrostatically trapped [Ru(NH3)(6)](3+) cations to the aptamer before and after thrombin binding. The sensitivity limit for the detection of thrombin is 10 pM. This value is 10-fold better than all currently reported one step label free electrochemical strategies. Given the direct label free nature of the approach and the simplicity of the electronic detection, the aptamer conjugated MoSI NWs biosensor appears well suited for implementation in portable point of care microdevices directed at the rapid and sensitive detection of proteins and pathogens. Crown Copyright (C) 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1859
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2011


  • Aptamer sensors
  • MoSI nanowires
  • Self-assembly
  • Thrombin
  • DNA


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