1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Queens College-CUNY, Flushing, New York 11367, USA. ; Tel: +1 7189974111.
Solid-state nanopores have been widely employed in sensing applications from Coulter counters to DNA sequencing devices. The analytical signal in such experiments is the change in ionic current flowing through the orifice caused by the large molecule or nanoparticle translocation through the pore. Conceptually similar nanopipette-based sensors can offer several advantages including the ease of fabrication and small physical size essential for local measurements and experiments in small spaces. This paper describes the first evaluation of nanopipettes with well characterized geometry for resistive-pulse sensing of Au nanoparticles (AuNP), nanoparticles coated with an allergen epitope peptide layer, and AuNP-peptide particles with bound antipeanut antibodies (IgY) on the peptide layer. The label-free signal produced by IgY-conjugated particles was strikingly different from those obtained with other analytes, thus suggesting the possibility of selective and sensitive resistive-pulse sensing of antibodies.