Biosensor and Biochip Applications of S-Layers

Angela Neubauer1, Stefan Kaufmann1, Brigitte Lindner1, Margit Sára2, Wolfgang Schallenberger3, Stefan Weigert1, and Uwe B. Sleytr2

1Center for Ultrastructure Research, TSP Nanoenginneering, Hettenkofergasse 13, A-1160 Vienna, Austria,
2Center for Ultrastructure Research, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Molecular Nanotechnology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Gregor-Mendel-Strasse 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria, and
3Nanosearch Membrane GmbH, Hettenkofergasse 13, A-1160 Vienna, Austria




The controlled molecular design of functional surfaces is one of the most challenging tasks in the development of new bioanalytical tools, which may be summarized under the terms "lab-on-a-chip" or "biochip". For optimum performance, the transducer/biology interface of such a device must allow biomulecules to be arranged in a controlled and reproducible way with high retention of their biological activity. Efficient communication between the biomolecules and electronic or optic components of the biosensor and a high signal-to-noise-ratio should be supported.

We present a nanobiotechnological approach to creation and design of biosensor or biochip surfaces using S-layer technology – a platform technology based on the natural self-assembly process of bacterial surface layers (S-layers). Combining in vitro recrystallization of S-layer proteins on various surfaces (semiconductors, metals, polymers) with technologies for surface patterning and introduction of functional epitopes (anitgens, receptors, enzymes) by genetic engineering or chemical coupling, S-layer technology enables the building-up of functional surfaces which meet the above mentioned requirements.

PAMELA-IST-1999-13478 is an EC funded research action. It aims at developing a biosensor system that allows very fast and sensitive detection of prostate specific antigen (PSA), which is an important parameter for diagnosis and therapy of prostate cancer.