Organic Field-Effect Transistor Platform for Label-Free, Single-Molecule Detection of Genomic Biomarkers

Eleonora Macchia, Kyriaki Manoli, Cinzia Di Franco, Rosaria Anna Picca, Ronald Österbacka, Gerardo Palazzo, Fabrizio Torricelli, Gaetano Scamarcio, Luisa Torsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing interest in technologies capable of tracking a biomarker down to the physical limit points toward new opportunities in early diagnostics of progressive diseases. Indeed, single-molecule detection technologies are foreseen to enable clinicians to associate the tiniest increase in a biomarker with the progression of a disease, particularly at its early stage. Bioelectronic organic transistors represent an extremely powerful tool to achieve label-free and single-molecule detection of clinically relevant biomarkers. These electronic devices are millimetric in size and in the future could be mass-produced at low cost. The core of the single molecule with a large transistor (SiMoT) platform, based on an electrolyte-gated field-effect transistor, is a gold gate electrode biofunctionalized with a self-assembled monolayer, a densely packed layer of recognition elements. So far, only the SiMoT detection of proteins, using the corresponding antibodies as recognition elements, has been reported. In this study, the SiMoT sensing response toward genomic biomarkers is proposed. Herein, the gate is functionalized with a genomic biomarker for multiple sclerosis (miR-182). This is relevant, not only because a limit of detection of a single molecule is achieved but also because it proves that the SiMoT label-free, single-molecule detection principle is the only one of its kind that can detect, by means of the same platform, both protein and genomic markers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1822-1830
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • DNA detection, miRNAs, multiple sclerosis
  • genomic markers
  • single molecule with a large transistor (SiMoT)
  • early diagnosis
  • biosensors
  • Electrolyte-gated organic thin-film transistor


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