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Solution-based functionalization of gallium nitride nanowires for protein sensor development



Albert Davydov, Elissa H. Williams, Vladimir P. Oleshko, Kristen L. Steffens, Igor Levin, Nancy J. Lin, Kristine A. Bertness, Amy Manocchi, M V. Rao, John A. Schreifels


A solution-based functionalization method for the specific and selective attachment of the streptavidin (SA) protein to gallium nitride (GaN) nanowires (NWs) is presented. By exploiting streptavidin's strong affinity for its ligand biotin, SA immobilization on GaN NWs was achieved by exposing the GaN NW surface to a 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) solution followed by reaction with biotin. Functionalization of the NWs with APTES was facilitated by the presence of an ≈ 1 nm thick surface oxide layer, which formed on the NWs after exposure to air and oxygen plasma. Biotinylation was accomplished by reacting the APTES-functionalized NWs with sulfo-N-hydroxysuccinimide-biotin at slightly alkaline pH. It was determined that the biotinylated GaN NW surface was specific towards the binding of SA and demonstrated no affinity towards a control protein, bovine serum albumin (BSA). There was however, evidence of non-specific, electrostatic binding of both the SA protein and the BSA protein to the APTES-coated NWs, revealing the importance of the biotinylation step. Successful SA immobilization on the biotinylated GaN NW surface was verified using fluorescence microscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The functionalized GaN NWs demonstrate potential as biosensing platforms for the selective detection of proteins.
Surface Science


biosensor, functionalization, Gallium nitride, nanowire, protein


Davydov, A. , Williams, E. , Oleshko, V. , , K. , Levin, I. , Lin, N. , Bertness, K. , Manocchi, A. , Rao, M. and Schreifels, J. (2014), Solution-based functionalization of gallium nitride nanowires for protein sensor development, Surface Science, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created April 17, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018