Designing Asymmetrically Modified Nanochannel Sensors Using Virtual EIS

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Devarakonda, Sivaranjani
Kim, Sungu
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Shrotriya, Pranav
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Mechanical Engineering
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University is where innovation thrives and the impossible is made possible. This is where your passion for problem-solving and hands-on learning can make a real difference in our world. Whether you’re helping improve the environment, creating safer automobiles, or advancing medical technologies, and athletic performance, the Department of Mechanical Engineering gives you the tools and talent to blaze your own trail to an amazing career.
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Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) contains two focuses. The focus on Electrical Engineering teaches students in the fields of control systems, electromagnetics and non-destructive evaluation, microelectronics, electric power & energy systems, and the like. The Computer Engineering focus teaches in the fields of software systems, embedded systems, networking, information security, computer architecture, etc.

The Department of Electrical Engineering was formed in 1909 from the division of the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering. In 1985 its name changed to Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In 1995 it became the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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  • Department of Electrical Engineering (1909-1985)
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering (1985-1995)

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Monitoring electrochemical impedance changes across an asymmetrically functionalized nanochannel array provides an attractive mechanism for chemical and biological sensors. Specific binding of the receptor molecules with their analyte leads to changes in charge distribution on the nanochannel surfaces modifying the ionic transport across them. The magnitude of impedance change due to receptor/ligand binding or sensor sensitivity depends on a large number of parameters and consequently, identification of parameters that result in sensitive and specific sensing performance is extremely tedious and cost-intensive. We rely on a ’virtual EIS’ procedure that models the transient ionic current due to a step-change in voltage to determine the frequency dependent impedance of an asymmetrically functionalized nanochannel. This procedure is used to predict the impedance changes due to the specific binding of thrombin on nanochannel surfaces. Surface charge changes associated with the binding of thrombin protein on the aptamer coated surface result in a decrease of the membrane impedance and computational results suggest that a reduction in the ionic strength of the electrolyte leads to an increase in the magnitude of binding induced impedance reduction. Sensing experiments with thrombin binding aptamer are performed to evaluate the trends from the high-throughput computations. The agreement between model predictions and experimental observations suggests that the present modeling approach may be utilized to computationally evaluate sensor performance for a range of parameters and rapidly identify sensor configurations that enable point-of-care diagnostic devices with improved sensitivities.


This is a pre-print of the article Devarakonda, Sivaranjani, Sungu Kim, Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, and Pranav Shrotriya. "Designing Asymmetrically Modified Nanochannel Sensors Using Virtual EIS." (2021). DOI: 10.26434/chemrxiv.14714895.v1. Posted with permission.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2021