Publications by Year: 2021

Zhao, C. ; Cheung, K. M. ; Huang, I. - W. ; Yang, H. ; Nakatsuka, N. ; Liu, W. ; Cao, Y. ; Man, T. ; Weiss, P. S. ; Monbouquette, H. G. ; et al. Implantable Aptamer–Field-Effect Transistor Neuroprobes for In Vivo Neurotransmitter Monitoring. Science Advances 2021, 7, eabj7422.Abstract
While tools for monitoring in vivo electrophysiology have been extensively developed, neurochemical recording technologies remain limited. Nevertheless, chemical communication via neurotransmitters plays central roles in brain information processing. We developed implantable aptamer–field-effect transistor (FET) neuroprobes for monitoring neurotransmitters. Neuroprobes were fabricated using high-throughput microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technologies, where 150 probes with shanks of either 150- or 50-μm widths and thicknesses were fabricated on 4-inch Si wafers. Nanoscale FETs with ultrathin (~3 to 4 nm) In2O3 semiconductor films were prepared using sol-gel processing. The In2O3 surfaces were coupled with synthetic oligonucleotide receptors (aptamers) to recognize and to detect the neurotransmitter serotonin. Aptamer-FET neuroprobes enabled femtomolar serotonin detection limits in brain tissue with minimal biofouling. Stimulated serotonin release was detected in vivo. This study opens opportunities for integrated neural activity recordings at high spatiotemporal resolution by combining these aptamer-FET sensors with other types of Si-based implantable probes to advance our understanding of brain function.
Zhao, C. ; Liu, Q. ; Cheung, K. M. ; Liu, W. ; Yang, Q. ; Xu, X. ; Man, T. ; Weiss, P. S. ; Zhou, C. ; Andrews, A. M. Narrower Nanoribbon Biosensors Fabricated by Chemical Lift-off Lithography Show Higher Sensitivity. ACS Nano 2021, 15, 904-915.Abstract

Wafer-scale nanoribbon field-effect transistor (FET) biosensors fabricated by straightforward top-down processes are demonstrated as sensing platforms with high sensitivity to a broad range of biological targets. Nanoribbons with 350 nm widths (700 nm pitch) were patterned by chemical lift-off lithography using high-throughput, low-cost commercial digital versatile disks (DVDs) as masters. Lift-off lithography was also used to pattern ribbons with 2 μm or 20 μm widths (4 or 40 μm pitches, respectively) using masters fabricated by photolithography. For all widths, highly aligned, quasi-one-dimensional (1D) ribbon arrays were produced over centimeter length scales by sputtering to deposit 20 nm thin-film In2O3 as the semiconductor. Compared to 20 μm wide microribbons, FET sensors with 350 nm wide nanoribbons showed higher sensitivity to pH over a broad range (pH 5 to 10). Nanoribbon FETs functionalized with a serotonin-specific aptamer demonstrated larger responses to equimolar serotonin in high ionic strength buffer than those of microribbon FETs. Field-effect transistors with 350 nm wide nanoribbons functionalized with single-stranded DNA showed greater sensitivity to detecting complementary DNA hybridization vs 20 μm microribbon FETs. In all, we illustrate facile fabrication and use of large-area, uniform In2O3 nanoribbon FETs for ion, small-molecule, and oligonucleotide detection where higher surface-to-volume ratios translate to better detection sensitivities.