- One way to increase the sensitivity of DNA diagnostic assays developed on microarrays is to improve the solid phase that allows the extraction of the target from a biological sample, before detection. Two parameters are influencing the performances of this capture step: (i) the specific surface area being offered for the capture and (ii) the number and the accessibility of oligonucleotide probes immobilized on the surface. In this context, we have developed an attractive approach which fulfills these two points. Our strategy was to elaborate a new material of high specific surface area, suitable to serve as support for both solid-phase oligonucleotide synthesis and in vitro diagnostic assay. This material has consisted of aggregates of colloidal amino-silica nanoparticles covalently linked by poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) arms. The aggregation of amino-silica particles in the presence of reactive bis-isocyanate PEO was achieved in a controlled manner. The aggregate size and structure were examined by microscopy. The specific surface area of this material was measured by nitrogen adsorption technique. The composition of aggregate was studied by thermogravimetry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Then, this material has been successfully used as support for oligonucleotide synthesis of high yield and purity. The resulting system will be further evaluated in a diagnostic assay on a microarray.