Human Serum Albumin Adsorption Study on 62-MHz Miniaturized Quartz Gravimetric Sensors

We have designed and fabricated 25-μm-thick quartz resonators operating at a fundamental resonance frequency of ~62 MHz. The results show a substantial increase in the mass sensitivity compared to single monolithic commercial resonators operating at lower frequencies in the ~5−10-MHz range. The overall performance of the micromachined resonators is demonstrated for the example of human serum albumin protein adsorption from aqueous buffer solutions onto gold electrodes functionalized with self-assembled monolayers. The results show a saturation adsorption frequency change of 6.8 kHz as opposed to 40 Hz for a commercial ~5-MHz sensor under identical loading conditions. From the analysis of the adsorption isotherm, the equilibrium adsorption constant of the adsorption of the protein layer was found to be K = 8.03 × 10^6 M^−1, which is in agreement with the values reported in the literature. The high sensitivity of the miniaturized QCM devices can be a significant advantage in both vapor and solution adsorption analyses.