Biosensors2015, 5(2), 158-171; doi:10.3390/bios5020158 (registering DOI) - published 1 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We report use of U-shaped biconically tapered optical fibers (BTOF) as probes for label-free immunoassays. The tapered regions of the sensors were functionalized by immobilization of immunoglobulin-G (Ig-G) and tested for detection of anti-IgG at concentrations of 50 ng/mL to 50 µg/mL. Antibody-antigen reaction creates a biological nanolayer modifying the waveguide structure leading to a change in the sensor signal, which allows real-time monitoring. The kinetics of the antibody (mouse Ig-G)-antigen (rabbit anti-mouse IgG) reactions was studied. Hydrofluoric acid treatment makes the sensitive region thinner to enhance sensitivity, which we confirmed by experiments and simulations. The limit of detection for the sensor was estimated to be less than 50 ng/mL. Utilization of the rate of the sensor peak shift within the first few minutes of the antibody-antigen reaction is proposed as a rapid protein detection method.
Biosensors2015, 5(2), 141-157; doi:10.3390/bios5020141 (registering DOI) - published 1 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A full label-free morphological and biochemical characterization is desirable to select spermatozoa during preparation for artificial insemination. In order to study these fundamental parameters, we take advantage of two attractive techniques: digital holography (DH) and Raman spectroscopy (RS). DH presents new opportunities for studying morphological aspect of cells and tissues non-invasively, quantitatively and without the need for staining or tagging, while RS is a very specific technique allowing the biochemical analysis of cellular components with a spatial resolution in the sub-micrometer range. In this paper, morphological and biochemical bovine sperm cell alterations were studied using these techniques. In addition, a complementary DH and RS study was performed to identify X- and Y-chromosome-bearing sperm cells. We demonstrate that the two techniques together are a powerful and highly efficient tool elucidating some important criterions for sperm morphological selection and sex-identification, overcoming many of the limitations associated with existing protocols.
Biosensors2015, 5(2), 131-140; doi:10.3390/bios5020131 - published 26 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: An antibiotic rapamycin is one of the most commonly used immunosuppressive drugs, and also implicated for its anti-cancer activity. Hence, the determination of its blood level after organ transplantation or tumor treatment is of great concern in medicine. Although there are several rapamycin detection methods, many of them have limited sensitivity, and/or need complicated procedures and long assay time. As a novel fluorescent biosensor for rapamycin, here we propose “Q’-body”, which works on the fluorescence quench-release principle inspired by the antibody-based quenchbody (Q-body) technology. We constructed rapamycin Q’-bodies by linking the two interacting domains FKBP12 and FRB, whose association is triggered by rapamycin. The fusion proteins were each incorporated position-specifically with one of fluorescence dyes ATTO520, tetramethylrhodamine, or ATTO590 using a cell-free translation system. As a result, rapid rapamycin dose-dependent fluorescence increase derived of Q’-bodies was observed, especially for those with ATTO520 with a lowest detection limit of 0.65 nM, which indicates its utility as a novel fluorescent biosensor for rapamycin.
Biosensors2015, 5(1), 118-130; doi:10.3390/bios5010118 - published 23 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Rapid biosensing requires fast mass transport of the analyte to the surface of the sensing element. To optimize analysis times, both mass transport in solution and the geometry and size of the sensing element need to be considered. Small dielectric spheres, tens of microns in diameter, can act as label-free biosensors using whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonances. WGM resonances are sensitive to the effective refractive index, which changes upon analyte binding to recognition sites on functionalized resonators. The spherical geometry and tens of microns diameter of these resonators provides an efficient target for sensing while their compact size enables detection in limited volumes. Here, we explore conditions leading to rapid analyte detection using WGM resonators as label-free sensors in 10 μL sample droplets. Droplet evaporation leads to potentially useful convective mixing, but also limits the time over which analysis can be completed. We show that active droplet mixing combined with initial binding rate measurements is required for accurate nanomolar protein quantification within the first minute following injection.
Biosensors2015, 5(1), 98-117; doi:10.3390/bios5010098 - published 23 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Label-free detection of rare cells in biological samples is an important and highly demanded task for clinical applications and various fields of research, such as detection of circulating tumor cells for cancer therapy and stem cells studies. Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) as a label-free method is a promising technology for detection of rare cells for diagnosis or research applications. Short detection depth of SPR (400 nm) provides a sensitive method with minimum interference of non-targets in the biological samples. In this work, we developed a novel microfluidic chip integrated with gold nanoslit SPR platform for highly efficient immunomagnetic capturing and detection of rare cells in human blood. Our method offers simple yet efficient detection of target cells with high purity. The approach for detection consists of two steps. Target cells are firs captured on functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) with specific antibody I. The suspension containing the captured cells (MNPs-cells) is then introduced into a microfluidic chip integrated with a gold nanoslit film. MNPs-cells bind with the second specific antibody immobilized on the surface of the gold nanoslit and are therefore captured on the sensor active area. The cell binding on the gold nanoslit was monitored by the wavelength shift of the SPR spectrum generated by the gold nanoslits.
Biosensors2015, 5(1), 85-97; doi:10.3390/bios5010085 - published 19 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We demonstrate a simple force-based label-free strategy for the highly sensitive sensing of adenosine. An adenosine ssDNA aptamer was bound onto an atomic force microscopy (AFM) probe by covalent modification, and the molecular-interface adsorption force between the aptamer and a flat graphite surface was measured by single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS). In the presence of adenosine, the molecular recognition between adenosine and the aptamer resulted in the formation of a folded, hairpin-like DNA structure and hence caused a variation of the adsorption force at the graphite/water interface. The sensitive force response to molecular recognition provided an adenosine detection limit in the range of 0.1 to 1 nM. The addition of guanosine, cytidine, and uridine had no significant interference with the sensing of adenosine, indicating a strong selectivity of this sensor architecture. In addition, operational parameters that may affect the sensor, such as loading rate and solution ionic strength, were investigated.