Label-free DNA detection plays a crucial role in developing point-of-care biochips. Capacitance detection is a promising technology for label-free detection. However, data published in literature often show evident time drift, large standard deviation, scattered data points, and poor reproducibility. To address these problems, mercapto-hexanol or similar alkanethiols are usually considered as blocking agents. The aim of the present paper is to investigate new blocking agents to further improve DNA probe surfaces. Data from AFM, SPR, florescence microscopy, and capacitance measurements are used to investigate new lipoate and ethylene-glycol molecules. The new surfaces offer further improvements in terms of diminished detection errors. Film structures are investigated at the nano-scale to justify the detection improvements in terms of probe surface quality. This study demonstrates the superiority of lipoate and ethylene-glycol molecules as blocking candidates when immobilizing molecular probes onto spot surfaces in label-free DNA biochip.
- DNA immobilization