DNA-functionalized MFe 2O 4 (M = Fe, Co, or Mn) nanoparticles and their hybridization to DNA-functionalized surfaces

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Magnetic MFe 2O 4 (M = Fe, Co, or Mn) nanoparticles with uniform diameters in the 4-20 nm range and with excellent material properties, reported previously, can be rendered soluble in water or aqueous buffers using a combination of alkylphosphonate surfactants and other surfactants such as ethoxylated fatty alcohols or phospholipids. Surfactant-modified oligonucleotides can be incorporated into the particles' organic shell. The particles can withstand salt concentrations up to 0.3 M, temperatures up to 90°C, and various operations such as concentration to dryness, column or membrane separations, and electrophoresis. The particles can be selectively hybridized to DNA-functionalized gold surfaces with high coverages using a two-story monolayer structure. These particles may find valuable applications involving the magnetic detection of small numbers of biomolecules using spin valves, magnetic tunnel junctions, or other sensors. © 2005 American Chemical Society.