Royal Society Publishing

Label–free THz sensing of genetic sequences: towards ‘THz biochips’

Peter Haring Bolívar, Michael Nagel, Frank Richter, Martin Brucherseifer, Heinrich Kurz, Anja Bosserhoff, Reinhard Büttner


THz–wave–based approaches for the label–free characterization of genetic material are described. Time–resolved THz spectroscopic analysis of genetic sequences (polynucleotides) demonstrate a distinct complex refractive index in the THz frequency range as a function of the binding state of the analysed DNA sequences. By monitoring THz signals, one can thus infer the binding state of oligo– and polynucleotides, enabling the label–free determination of the genetic composition of target polynucleotides by sensing their binding to known probe molecules. Here we review integrated THz sensing array developments exhibiting high sensitivity and single–base mutation detection capabilities. Recent achievements using functionalized biosensing arrays of high–Q resonators are illustrated.

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