Growth of Gold Nanocrystals Incorporated with Magnetic Microbead-based Separation as a Tool for Quantification of Biological Interactions

Cuong Cao, Xin Xing Li, Sang Jun Sim

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Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been widely used not only as optical labels or ‘weight” labels for the detections of biorecognition events but also an amplifier of surface plasmon resonance biosensors. The intrinsic property of gold nuclei composing of a group of Au atoms to catalyze the reduction of metal ions on the NPs and thereby to enlarge the metallic nanoparticles is employed in different biosensing paths. In a solution containing Au+ ions (e.g. HAuCl4) and the Au clusters, hydrated electrons which are reduced from oxidation of reducers (H2O2, sodium citrate, ascorbic acid, or NaBH4) will be used to reduce the Au+ ion leading to the deposition of Au+ to the Au0 (Au clusters). The reaction will be catalyzed continuously by the Au0 until the Au+ ions and hydrated electrons are exhausted. As a result, the AuNPs will be grown and their optical properties are also changed. If the AuNP nanoclusters are used as probes, the color change will be dependent on amount of analytes, thus give a quantitative monitoring of the analytes.

In this study, we incorporate the use of magnetic beads with the nanocrystalline growth to quantify a target protein based on immunoreactions. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is chosen as the target analyte because of its values in diagnosis of prostate cancer. A double-sandwiched immunoassay is performed by gold-tagged monoclonal PSA antibody-PSA antigen – magnetic bead-tagged polyclonal PSA antibody interactions. After the immunoreactions, the target analytes are preconcentrated and separated by the magnetic beads while the nanogrowth plays a role of colorimetric signal developer.

The result shows that this is a very sensitive, robust and excellent strategy to detect biological interactions. PSA antigen is detected at femtomolar level with very high specificity under the presence of undesired proteins of crude samples. Furthermore, the method also shows great potential to detect other biological interactions. More details will be described in our presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventThe Tenth World Congress on Biosensors - Shanghai, China
Duration: 14 May 200816 May 2008


ConferenceThe Tenth World Congress on Biosensors

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