We report on a magnetic focus lateral flow biosensor (mLFS) for ultrasensitive detection of protein biomarkers in a practical format. With valosin-containing protein as a target protein, we show that the developed mLFS concept could detect as low as 25 fg/mL with magnetic focus to enhance target capture efficiency to deliver a 10 6 -fold improvement in sensitivity compared to that of conventional lateral flow (LF) systems. The conceptualized strategy utilizes a simple magnet placed beneath the three-dimensional printed LF device to concentrate the targets at the signal zone without any additional instrumentation. In addition, protein mixtures extracted from the tissue of cervical cancer patients was also utilized to validate the sensor. To investigate the effect of magnetic focus on sensitivity, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and dark-field imaging was utilized to characterize the distribution and movement of Fe 3 O 4 core-Au shell nanoprobes in a model LF strip. Our experiments show that the magnetic focus results in an increased interaction time between the magnetic probe-labeled targets and the capture antibody, yielding a higher capture efficiency, allowing for ultrasensitive detection of the target not possible before with LF. The proposed mLFS can be utilized to detect a range of trace protein biomarkers for early diagnosis and can be combined with diverse pretreatment and signal amplification steps to query complex samples.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry