American Chemical Society
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Simultaneous Detection of Multiple Tumor Markers in Blood by Functional Liquid Crystal Sensors Assisted with Target-Induced Dissociation of Aptamer

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-02-18, 20:13 authored by Lubin Qi, Shuya Liu, Yifei Jiang, Jin-Ming Lin, Li Yu, Qiongzheng Hu
Multiplex detection of tumor markers in blood with high specificity and high sensitivity is critical to cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Herein, we demonstrate a strategy for simultaneous detection of multiple tumor markers in blood by functional liquid crystal (LC) sensors assisted with target-induced dissociation (TID) of an aptamer for the first time. Magnetic beads (MBs) coated with an aptamer (apt1) are employed to specifically capture target proteins in blood. After incubation of the obtained protein-coated MBs with duplexes of another aptamer (apt2) and signal DNA, sandwich complexes of apt1/protein/apt2 are formed on the MBs due to specific recognition of target proteins by apt2, which induces release of signal DNA into the aqueous solution. Subsequently, signal DNA is specifically recognized by highly sensitive DNA-laden LC sensors. Using this strategy, a 3D printed optical cell was employed to enable simultaneous detection of multiple tumor markers such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and prostate specific antigen (PSA) with high specificity and high sensitivity. Overall, this effective and low-cost multiplex approach takes advantage of the easy separation of MBs, high specificity of aptamer-based recognition, and high sensitivity of functional LC sensors. Plus, it offers a performance that is competitive to that of commercial ELISA kits without potential interference from hemolysis, which makes it very promising in multiplex detection of tumor markers in clinical applications.