A microcantilever-based silver ion sensor using DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles as a mass amplifier

Juneseok You, Yeongjin Song, Chanho Park, Kuewhan Jang, Sungsoo Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Silver ions have been used to sterilize many products, however, it has recently been demonstrated that silver ions can be toxic. This toxicity has been studied over many years with the lethal concentration at 10 μM. Silver ions can accumulate through the food chain, causing serious health problems in many species. Hence, there is a need for a commercially available silver ion sensor, with high detection sensitivity. In this work, we develop an ultra-sensitive silver ion sensor platform, using cytosine based DNA and gold nanoparticles as the mass amplifier. We achieve a lower detection limit for silver ions of 10 pM; this detection limit is one million times lower than the toxic concentration. Using our sensor platform we examine highly selective characteristics of other typical ions in water from natural sources. Furthermore, our sensor platform is able to detect silver ions in a real practical sample of commercially available drinking water. Our sensor platform, which we have termed a 'MAIS' (mass amplifier ion sensor), with a simple detection procedure, high sensitivity, selectivity and real practical applicability has shown potential as an early toxicity assessment of silver ions in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245501
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 24


  • cytosine
  • gold nanoparticle
  • mass amplifier
  • microcantilever
  • silver ion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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