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Poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate) Dip-Coating: Turning Cellulose Paper into a Protein-Repellent Platform for Biosensors

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journal contribution
posted on 17.09.2014, 00:00 by Xudong Deng, Niels M. B. Smeets, Clémence Sicard, Jingyun Wang, John D. Brennan, Carlos D. M. Filipe, Todd Hoare
The passivation of nonspecific protein adsorption to paper is a major barrier to the use of paper as a platform for microfluidic bioassays. Herein we describe a simple, scalable protocol based on adsorption and cross-linking of poly­(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate) (POEGMA) derivatives that reduces nonspecific adsorption of a range of proteins to filter paper by at least 1 order of magnitude without significantly changing the fiber morphology or paper macroporosity. A lateral-flow test strip coated with POEGMA facilitates effective protein transport while also confining the colorimetric reporting signal for easier detection, giving improved performance relative to bovine serum albumin (BSA)-blocked paper. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays based on POEGMA-coated paper also achieve lower blank values, higher sensitivities, and lower detection limits relative to ones based on paper blocked with BSA or skim milk. We anticipate that POEGMA-coated paper can function as a platform for the design of portable, disposable, and low-cost paper-based biosensors.