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Magnetic Nanorobots as Maneuverable Immunoassay Probes for Automated and Efficient Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay

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posted on 11.01.2022, 17:34 by Yong Wang, Xiaoxia Liu, Chang Chen, Yuduo Chen, Yang Li, Heng Ye, Bo Wang, Huaying Chen, Jinhong Guo, Xing Ma
As a typical, classical, but powerful biochemical sensing technology in analytical chemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) shows excellence and wide practicability for quantifying analytes of ultralow concentration. However, long incubation time and burdensome laborious multistep washing processes make it inefficient and labor-intensive for conventional ELISA. Here, we propose rod-like magnetically driven nanorobots (MNRs) for use as maneuverable immunoassay probes that facilitate a strategy for an automated and highly efficient ELISA analysis, termed nanorobots enabled ELISA (nR-ELISA). To prepare the MNRs, the self-assembled chains of Fe3O4 magnetic particles are chemically coated with a thin layer of rigid silica oxide (SiO2), onto which capture antibody (Ab1) is grafted to further achieve magnetically maneuverable immunoassay probes (MNR-Ab1s). We investigate the fluid velocity distribution around the MNRs at microscale using numerical simulation and empirically identify the mixing efficiency of the actively rotating MNRs. To automate the analysis process, we design and fabricate by 3-D printing a detection unit consisting of three function wells. The MNR-Ab1s can be steered into different function wells for required reaction or wishing process. The actively rotating MNR-Ab1s can enhance the binding efficacy with target analytes at microscale and greatly decrease incubation time. The integrated nR-ELISA system can significantly reduce the assay time, more importantly during which process manpower input is greatly minimized. Our simulation of the magnetic field distribution generated by Helmholtz coils demonstrates that our approach can be scaled up, which proves the feasibility of using current strategy to construct high throughput nR-ELISA detection instrument. This work of taking magnetic micro/nanobots as active immunoassay probes for automatic and efficient ELISA not only holds great potential for point-of-care testing (POCT) in future but also extends the practical applications of self-propelled micro/nanorobots into the field of analytical chemistry.