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Open AccessArticle

Label-Free Biosensor Detection of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds Using Engineered Estrogen Receptors

1
European Commission–DG Joint Research Centre, Directorate Health Consumer and Reference Materials, 21027 Ispra, Italy
2
European Commission–DG Joint Research Centre, Directorate Sustainable Resources, 21027 Ispra, Italy
3
Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), 6500 Bellinzona, Switzerland
4
Authenticity & Bioassays, RIKILT Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University, 6708 WB Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Biosensors 2018, 8(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios8010001
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Label-free Biosensing)
Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) are chemical substances shown to interfere with endogenous hormones affecting the endocrine, immune and nervous systems of mammals. EDCs are the causative agents of diseases including reproductive disorders and cancers. This highlights the urgency to develop fast and sensitive methods to detect EDCs, which are detrimental even at very low concentrations. In this work, we propose a label-free surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor method to detect specific EDCs (17 β-estradiol (E2), ethinyl-estradiol, 4-nonylphenol, tamoxifen) through their binding to estrogen receptor alpha (ERα). We show that the use of rationally designed ERα (as bio-recognition element) in combination with conformation-sensitive peptides (as amplification agent, resulting in increased responses) enables the detection of low parts per billion (ppb) levels of E2. As a proof of concept, this bioassay was used to detect E2 in (spiked) real water samples from fish farms, rivers and the sea at low ppb levels after concentration by solid phase extraction. In addition, the present SPR assay that combines a conformation-sensitive peptide with an array of ERα mutants is very promising for the assessment of the risk of potential estrogenic activity for chemical substances. View Full-Text
Keywords: estrogen receptor; 17β-estradiol; label-free assay; surface plasmon resonance; amplification; water estrogen receptor; 17β-estradiol; label-free assay; surface plasmon resonance; amplification; water
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MDPI and ACS Style

La Spina, R.; Ferrero, V.E.V.; Aiello, V.; Pedotti, M.; Varani, L.; Lettieri, T.; Calzolai, L.; Haasnoot, W.; Colpo, P. Label-Free Biosensor Detection of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds Using Engineered Estrogen Receptors. Biosensors 2018, 8, 1.

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