Enhancing the sensitivity of DNA microarray using dye-doped silica nanoparticles: Detection of human papilloma virus

F. Enrichi*, R. Riccò, A. Meneghello, R. Pierobon, G. Canton, E. Cretaio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


DNA microarray is a high-throughput technology used for detection and quantification of nucleic acid molecules and others of biological interest. The analysis is based on the specific hybridization between probe sequences deposited in array and a target ss-DNA amplified by PCR and functionalized by a fluorescent dye. Organic labels have well known disadvantages like photobleaching and low signal intensities, which put a limitation to the lower amount of DNA material that can be detected. Therefore for trace analysis the development of more efficient biomarkers is required. With this aim we present in this paper the synthesis and application of alternative hybrid nanosystems obtained by incorporating standard fluorescent molecules into monodisperse silica nanoparticles. Efficient application to the detection of Human Papilloma Virus is demonstrated. This virus is associated to the formation of cervical cancer, a leading cause of death by cancer for women worldwide. It is shown that the use of the novel biomarkers increases the optical signal of about one order of magnitude with respect to the free dyes or quantum dots in conventional instruments. This is due to the high number of molecules that can be accommodated into each nanoparticle, to the reduced photobleaching and to the improved environmental protection of the dyes when encapsulated in the silica matrix. The cheap and easy synthesis of these luminescent particles, the stability in water, the surface functionalizability and bio-compatibility make them very promising for present and future bio-labeling and bio-imaging applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIP Conference Proceedings
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventBONSAI Project Symposium: Breakthroughs in Nanoparticles for Bio-Imaging - Rome, Italy
Duration: 8 Apr 20109 Apr 2010


ConferenceBONSAI Project Symposium: Breakthroughs in Nanoparticles for Bio-Imaging


  • DNA microarray
  • dye doped silica nanoparticles
  • luminescent biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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