Silica Three-Dimensional Biosensors | OMICS International
ISSN: 2090-4967
Biosensors Journal
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Silica Three-Dimensional Biosensors

Jui-Chuang Wu*

Department of Chemical Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, Tao Yuan, Taiwan, R.O.C

Corresponding Author:
Department of Chemical Engineering
Chung Yuan Christian University
200, Chung Pei Rd., Chung Li
Tao Yuan 32023, Taiwan, R.O.C
Tel: +886 3 265 9999
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: September 01, 2015; Accepted Date: September 28, 2015; Published Date: September 30, 2015

Citation: Wu JC (2015) Silica Three-Dimensional Biosensors. Biosens J 4:127. doi:10.4172/2090-4967.1000127

Copyright: © 2015 Wu JC. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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This mini review focuses on overviewing three-dimensional biosensors made of silica and its derivates. Three dimensional biosensors will be briefly reviewed their various applications, followed with the characteristics and the corresponding traditional applications of silica. Finally, the current development and the prospect of silica threedimensional biosensors are discussed.


Three-dimensional biosensors; Silica; Protein biosensors; DNA biosensors

Biosensors in Three Dimensions

The rapid development of biosensors in the past decade has diversified their applications in environmental monitoring [1-2], virus detection [3], disease diagnosis [4-7], drug therapy [8], drug discovery [9], and so on [10]. The current electronic technique further supports the advances in software-analysis speeding image treatment, storage availability of huge-size images, and data internet sharing [11,12]. Nowadays, biosensors are capable of presenting the microscopic world of biological samples in a fast, accurate, quantified, and informative manner.

The emergence of three-dimensional biosensors is motivated from the main lack in traditional planar ones. The planar substrates, in some scenarios, are unable to give sufficient capacity to accommodate samples for obtaining satisfactory detection signals. The sample duplication, e.g. polymerase chain reactions (PCR) for deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA’s), is supposed to finish prior to sample loading. But for the biological samples, whose dulcification or cultivation processes are inconvenient, their detection performance will be confined on planar biosensors.

There are many reports appeared for the three-dimensional biosensors using various substrates: agarose [13,14], dextran gel [15], polyacrylamide [16], nitrocellulose [17-20], monolithic polymer [21], and others [22]. The common superior property of these porous materials as biosensor matrices is their vast 3D internal surface area, which is capable of immobilizing detection probes or receptors to capture much more biological target molecules than traditional planar substrates; hence the detection sensitivity and limit are enhanced. In this consideration, the 3D biosensors actually eliminate the timeconsuming duplication step for sample preparation. Some 3D material also provides a hydrophilic surface to allow the better penetration of biomolecules into their porous structure [21]. However, the problems of fragility and thermal resistance of these materials have not much addressed, limiting the applications of these materials. In this concern, porous silica derivates are proposed as a solution to this issue.

Silica Three-Dimensional Biosensors

Porous silica derivates are materials with unique characteristics of high porosity, large surface area, low density, and low thermal conductivity. These advances explore their traditional applications in electrical batteries, nuclear waste storage, catalysis, thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, and as adsorbents [23]. Its application for capturing comet dust has further launched this material into outer space [24]. Due to their chemical and mechanical robustness, large internal capacity, and biocompatibility, porous silica derivates also have promising applications in biotech and biomedical fields. They are able to be prepared as biocompatible scaffold to immobilize or protect biological materials [25], protein entrapment [26], protein incorporation [27], hybridization array [28,29], and building potential matrices in the design of 3D biosensors.

The 3D matrices fabricated in mesoporous silica composite and immobilized with enzyme glucose oxidase (GOD) were reported a potential glucose biosensors for diabetes [30,31]. The 3D biosensors built in ordered mesoporous silica amorphous material were able to detect gene marker BRCA1 for the early diagnosis of breast cancer [32] or to study the behavior of cytochrome c (Cyt c) [33], which was verified to have a close interaction with COX412 gene [34], a direct cause of dyserythropoeitic anemia and calvarial hyperostosis as the gene mutation occurs [35]. The 3D silicate derivates has also demonstrated an immunoassay and a DNA hybridization on arrayed biochips for the recognition of human interleukin 6 (IL6) [36] and human gene ATP5O [37], respectively. The human interleukin 6 (IL6) is generally known as an indication of early-onset neonatal sepsis [38] and ATP5O is the most significantly reduced gene involved in the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) [39], which was reported in parallel with increased insulin resistance in patients with type II diabetes mellitus [40]. A comparison of the results with those of 2D planar biochips confirmed that 3D silica biochips amplified signal intensities are more effectively due to their remarkable capturing capability [36]. Another study using 3D silica composites was reported to detect DNA aptamers with the addition of quantum dots (QD’s) and super-paramagnetic silica composite [41].

In the future prospect, silica 3D biosensors will keep improving their capturing surface area and simplifying the readout mechanism of report molecules. The strategy is currently undergoing toward the directions of down sizing its derivates to nano scale [42-45] and as well labeling-free [46]. The silica 3D biosensors will soon present their new prospect in ultra-sensitive and user-friendly features.


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