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Aptamer-Functionalized Microgel Particles for Protein Detection

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posted on 22.02.2016, 12:47 by Rathi L. Srinivas, Stephen C. Chapin, Patrick S. Doyle
Highly sensitive and multiplexed detection of clinically relevant proteins in biologically complex samples is crucial for the advancement of clinical proteomics. In recent years, aptamers have emerged as useful tools for protein analysis due to their specificity and affinity for protein targets as well as their compatibility with particle-based detection systems. In this study, we demonstrate the highly sensitive detection of human α-thrombin on encoded hydrogel microparticles functionalized with an aptamer capture sequence. We use static imaging and microfluidic flow-through analysis techniques to evaluate the detection capabilities of the microgels in sandwich-assay formats that utilize both aptamers and antibodies for the reporting of target-binding events. Buffers and reagent concentrations were optimized to provide maximum reaction efficiency while still maintaining an assay with a simple workflow that can be easily adapted to the multiplexed detection of other clinically relevant proteins. The three-dimensional, nonfouling hydrogel immobilization scaffold used in this work provides three logs of dynamic range, with a limit of detection of 4 pM using a single aptamer capture species and without the need for spacers or signal amplification.

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