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A Label-Free Biosensing Platform Using a PLL Circuit and Biotin-Streptavidin Binding System

This paper proposes a novel RF biosensor that utilizes a frequency synthesizer associated with a microstrip open-loop resonator for label-free biomolecular detection. The RF biosensor consists mainly of a resonance-assisted transducer and a phase locked loop (PLL) circuit. In this work, the performance of the RF biosensor is validated using the well-known biotin-streptavidin binding system. When biotin is bound to streptavidin, the input impedance of the resonator is varied, resulting in a change in the oscillation frequency.

The concentration of the streptavidin is ultimately detected by a voltage signal of the PLL’s loop filter with simple measurement equipment. According to the experimental results, the RF biosensor has revealed excellent sensitivity ( ~ 61 kHz/ngml-1) and a low detection limit ( ~ 1 ng/ml), as well as a rapid response. These results demonstrate that the RF biosensor can be an effective sensing platform for label-free detection in a biomolecular binding system.