Evaluation of screen-printed gold on low-temperature co-fired ceramic as a substrate for the immobilization of electrochemical immunoassays

by Fakunle, Eyitayo S. O.; Aguilar, Zoraida P.; Shultz, John L.; Toland, Alan Dane; Fritsch, Ingrid


Screen-printed gold (SPG, Dupont gold conductor 5734) on low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) materials (Dupont dielectric tape 951, mostly composed of alumina and silica) has been demonstrated to be a substrate for electrochemical enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays. The effect of two different cleaning treatments and the extent of nonspecific adsorption on the SPG/LTCC and plain LTCC surfaces were also evaluated. LTCC materials hold promise for constructing a new generation of devices for microelectrochemical sensing and assays. Facile fabrication in three dimensions with integrated conducting elements makes them attractive. A standard sandwich immunoassay for a model analyte, mouse IgG, was used to evaluate the LTCC materials. After the assembly of components onto chips of SPG/LTCC and plain LTCC, p-aminophenol that was generated enzymatically by the enzyme label was detected electrochemically with a separate glassy carbon electrode. Cleaning SPG/LTCC with a piranha solution (7:1 vol/vol of concentrated H2SO4/30% H2O2), traditionally used for other gold surfaces prior to SAM assembly, resulted in a notable decrease in assay signal and an increase in nonspecific adsorption when compared to cleaning with water alone. Assay components assemble specifically on plain LTCC, with only a small percent attributed to NSA. Environmental scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy reveal the tremendous chemical heterogeneity and complexity of both SPG/LTCC and plain LTCC surfaces and aid in the explanation of assay results. A 10% acetate Tween bovine serum albumin solution and an ethanolic solution of 4 mM 1-butanol eliminate assay signals originating from plain LTCC. The outcomes of these studies can now be used to achieve miniaturized electrochemical immunoassays on LTCC materials where both plain and SPG surfaces are present.

Start Page