American Chemical Society
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Electrokinetic Active Particles for Motion-Based Biomolecule Detection

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-07, 19:34 authored by Cooper P. Thome, Wren S. Hoertdoerfer, Julia R. Bendorf, Jin Gyun Lee, C. Wyatt Shields
Detection of biomolecules is essential for patient diagnosis, disease management, and numerous other applications. Recently, nano- and microparticle-based detection has been explored for improving traditional assays by reducing required sample volumes and assay times as well as enhancing tunability. Among these approaches, active particle-based assays that couple particle motion to biomolecule concentration expand assay accessibility through simplified signal outputs. However, most of these approaches require secondary labeling, which complicates workflows and introduces additional points of error. Here, we show a proof-of-concept for a label-free, motion-based biomolecule detection system using electrokinetic active particles. We prepare induced-charge electrophoretic microsensors (ICEMs) for the capture of two model biomolecules, streptavidin and ovalbumin, and show that the specific capture of the biomolecules leads to direct signal transduction through ICEM speed suppression at concentrations as low as 0.1 nM. This work lays the foundation for a new paradigm of rapid, simple, and label-free biomolecule detection using active particles.