Manipulating and Monitoring On-Surface Biological Reactions by Light-Triggered Local pH Alterations

Hagit Peretz-Soroka, Alexander Pevzner, Guy Davidi, Vladimir Naddaka, Moria Kwiat, Dan Huppert, Fernando Patolsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Significant research efforts have been dedicated to the integration of biological species with electronic elements to yield smart bioelectronic devices. The integration of DNA, proteins, and whole living cells and tissues with electronic devices has been developed into numerous intriguing applications. In particular, the quantitative detection of biological species and monitoring of biological processes are both critical to numerous areas of medical and life sciences. Nevertheless, most current approaches merely focus on the "monitoring" of chemical processes taking place on the sensing surfaces, and little efforts have been invested in the conception of sensitive devices that can simultaneously "control" and "monitor" chemical and biological reactions by the application of on-surface reversible stimuli. Here, we demonstrate the light-controlled fine modulation of surface pH by the use of photoactive molecularly modified nanomaterials. Through the use of nanowire-based FET devices, we showed the capability of modulating the on-surface pH, by intensity-controlled light stimulus. This allowed us simultaneously and locally to control and monitor pH-sensitive biological reactions on the nanodevices surfaces, such as the local activation and inhibition of proteolytic enzymatic processes, as well as dissociation of antigen-antibody binding interactions. The demonstrated capability of locally modulating the on-surface effective pH, by a light stimuli, may be further applied in the local control of on-surface DNA hybridization/dehybridization processes, activation or inhibition of living cells processes, local switching of cellular function, local photoactivation of neuronal networks with single cell resolution and so forth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4758-4768
Number of pages11
JournalNano Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - 8 Jul 2015


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation


    • antibody
    • bioaffinity interactions
    • biosensors
    • field effect transistors
    • light switch
    • nanowire
    • pH measurement


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