Fluoroimmunoassay for Antigen Based on Fluorescence Quenching Signal of Gold Nanoparticles

A unique, sensitive, and highly specific fluoroimmunoassay system for antigen detection using gold and magnetic nanoparticles has been developed. The assay is based on the fluorescence quenching of fluorescein isothiocyanate caused by gold nanoparticles coated with monoclonal antibody. To demonstrate its analytical capabilities, the magnetic nanoparticles were coated with anti-α-fetoprotein polyclonal antibodies, which specifically bound with α-fetoprotein. Gold nanoparticles coated with anti-α-fetoprotein monoclonal antibodies could sandwich the α-fetoprotein captured by the magnetic nanoparticle probes. The sandwich-type immunocomplex was formed on the surface of magnetic nanoparticles and could be separated by a magnetic field. The supernatant liquid, which contained the unbound gold nanoparticle probes, was used to quench the fluorescence, and the fluorescence intensity of fluorescein isothiocyanate at 516 nm was proportional to the α-fetoprotein concentration. The result showed that the limit of detection of α-fetoprotein was 0.17 nM. This new system can be extended to detect target molecules with matched antibodies and has broad potential applications in immunoassay and disease diagnosis.