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Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2701; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122701

Single-Shot Detection of Neurotransmitters in Whole-Blood Samples by Means of the Heat-Transfer Method in Combination with Synthetic Receptors

1
Institute for Materials Research, Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
2
Maastricht Science Programme, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
3
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Soft-Matter Physics and Biophysics Section, KULeuven, Celestijnenlaan 200 D, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
4
Division of Chemistry and Environmental Science, School of Science and the Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5GD, UK
5
IMOMEC Division, IMEC vzw, Wetenschapspark 1, B3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
Authors share first authorship.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Based Sensors for Bioanalytes)
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Abstract

Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that plays a major role in the pathogenesis of a variety of conditions, including psychiatric disorders. The detection of serotonin typically relies on high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), an expensive technique that requires sophisticated equipment and trained personnel, and is not suitable for point-of-care applications. In this contribution, we introduce a novel sensor platform that can measure spiked neurotransmitter concentrations in whole blood samples in a fast and low-cost manner by combining synthetic receptors with a thermal readout technique—the heat-transfer method. In addition, the design of a miniaturized version of the sensing platform is presented that aims to bridge the gap between measurements in a laboratory setting and point-of-care measurements. This fully automated and integrated, user-friendly design features a capillary pumping unit that is compatible with point-of-care sampling techniques such as a blood lancet device (sample volume—between 50 µL and 300 µL). Sample pre-treatment is limited to the addition of an anti-coagulant. With this fully integrated setup, it is possible to successfully discriminate serotonin from a competitor neurotransmitter (histamine) in whole blood samples. This is the first demonstration of a point-of-care ready device based on synthetic receptors for the screening of neurotransmitters in complex matrices, illustrating the sensor’s potential application in clinical research and diagnosis of e.g., early stage depression. View Full-Text
Keywords: heat-transfer method; biomimetic sensing; molecularly imprinted polymers; neurotransmitters; point-of-care diagnostics heat-transfer method; biomimetic sensing; molecularly imprinted polymers; neurotransmitters; point-of-care diagnostics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Vandenryt, T.; van Grinsven, B.; Eersels, K.; Cornelis, P.; Kholwadia, S.; Cleij, T.J.; Thoelen, R.; De Ceuninck, W.; Peeters, M.; Wagner, P. Single-Shot Detection of Neurotransmitters in Whole-Blood Samples by Means of the Heat-Transfer Method in Combination with Synthetic Receptors. Sensors 2017, 17, 2701.

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