A pin-based pyro-electrohydrodynamic jet sensor for tuning the accumulation of biomolecules down to sub-picogram level detection

Simona Itri, Danila del Giudice, Martina Mugnano, Volodymyr Tkachenko, Sanna Uusitalo, Annukka Kokkonen, Inka Päkkilä, Heidi Ottevaere, Yunfeng Nie, Emanuela Mazzon, Agnese Gugliandolo, Pietro Ferraro, Simonetta Grilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The detection of low abundant biomarkers is of great interest in different clinical cases, such as the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Here we present what we call pin-based pyro-electrohydrodynamic jet (p-jet) sensor that can linearly tune the accumulation rate of biomolecules in tiny droplets. In this newly revealed pin-based configuration we demonstrate the ability to detect biomolecules down to sub-picogram concentration. Two different fluorescent probes at a varying number of accumulated droplets, up to 50, have been used to investigate the p-jet sensor. Moreover, a comparative study with a commercial piezo-driven bio-spotter has been performed. The spots of biomolecules exhibit high reproducibility by achieving a coefficient of variation <10%, both in diameter and fluorescence intensity, respectively. Remarkably, the spot intensity increases linearly with the number of accumulated droplets, thus showing the effective inherent additive functionality of this technique. Such accumulation effect allowed us to reach a limit of detection down to sub-picogram level. The p-jet sensor was applied to detect the Aβ1–42 protein, a typical Alzheimer's disease biomarker, through an immunoreaction protocol carried out on the p-jet spots. The results demonstrate the compatibility of the p-jet with immunoassay procedures, opening the route to the development of a highly sensitive device able to detect low abundant biomarkers for early diagnosis applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100536
JournalSensing and Bio-Sensing Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The authors acknowledge the EU funding within the Horizon 2020 Program, under the FET-OPEN Project “SensApp”, Grant Agreement n.829104. In addition to “SensApp”, VTT researchers acknowledge the support of the Academy of Finland Flagship Programme, Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN), decision 320168. The CNR authors acknowledge Romina Rega for her collaboration in preparing the glass slides. The CNR authors acknowledge the Innovation & Technology Provider S.r.l. and Heinz Italia S.p.A. for funding under the project code B51I18000840007. The VUB research was supported by the Methusalem program of the Flemish government and Hercules foundations and the Scientific Research Council (OZR) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Y. Nie acknowledges Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) for her post-doctoral fellowship (No. 1252722N).


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Aβ1-42
  • Biosensors
  • P-jet


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