Nanomonitors: Electrical Immunoassays for Protein Biomarker Profiling

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Robust diagnosis of a disease can be accomplished by reliable detection of multiple protein biomarkers. Traditional assay methods for protein detection such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) have several limitations – need for use of labels, time of detection is several hours, large volume of reagents, and multiple proteins cannot be detected simultaneously and they are expensive. This presentation discusses the development of nanomonitors, which are electrical immunoassays for label-free, sensitive, fast, reliable and cost effective detection of multiple protein biomarkers. The nanomonitors are platform-based devices comprising of base silicon substrate with metallic measurement sites overlayed with nanoporous alumina membranes. These nanomonitors employ the nanoporous alumina membranes to confine proteins into narrow spaces on to a Si-based microdevice. This confinement helps to curb the denaturing of proteins and thus preserves their functionality thereby greatly increasing the sensitivity of the device. The device performance has been demonstrated for two inflammatory markers – C-reactive protein (CRP) and Myeloperoxidase (MPO) from complex fluids samples i.e. human serum. The performance parameters of the nanomonitors are compared with the traditional assay methods. Apart from being a label-free technique, it was also concluded that the nanomonitors can provide several improvements such as highly increased speed of detection on the order of minutes as compared to several hours for ELISA, significant reduction in volume of reagents to a few µl, large reduction in cost per assay and the reduction in the size of assay thus making it a candidate for a clinical diagnostic “lab-on-a-chip” device.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2008: Microsystems, Photonics, Sensors, Fluidics, Modeling, and Simulation – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 3
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 339 - 342
Industry sectors: Medical & Biotech | Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topic: Micro & Bio Fluidics, Lab-on-Chip
ISBN: 978-1-4200-8505-1