Sensitive and specific quantification of protein biomarkers is important in medical diagnostics, academic research, and pharmaceutical development. However, multiple binding steps in conventional sandwich immunoassay protocols result in high assay hands-on-time and delayed results. This is particularly relevant for medical diagnostics, where assay turn-around-time can have an immense impact on patient outcomes. To address this limitation, we report the assembly of nanosensors prepared using DNA-antibody conjugates, which combine capture and detection antibody binding steps by facilitating rapid antigen capture. Following antigen binding, detection antibodies are released using chemically induced complex rearrangement. A panel of 12 chemical additives are characterized to identify melting point depressants capable of rapidly denaturing double stranded DNA (dsDNA) linkers, and 8 compounds are demonstrated to be capable of disrupting dsDNA while maintaining the integrity of protein binding. This technique is then validated for the measurement of the heart attack indicator cardiac troponin I and is shown to successfully combine antigen binding steps while also increasing detection sensitivity 42×. Linker-mediated immunoassays are also demonstrated to provide robust quantification in human serum and are shown to be compatible with each of the most commonly used immunoassay detection modalities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry