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Open Access research which pushes advances in bionanotechnology

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) , based within the Faculty of Science.

SIPBS is a major research centre in Scotland focusing on 'new medicines', 'better medicines' and 'better use of medicines'. This includes the exploration of nanoparticles and nanomedicines within the wider research agenda of bionanotechnology, in which the tools of nanotechnology are applied to solve biological problems. At SIPBS multidisciplinary approaches are also pursued to improve bioscience understanding of novel therapeutic targets with the aim of developing therapeutic interventions and the investigation, development and manufacture of drug substances and products.

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Plasmonic ELISA for the ultrasensitive detection of disease biomarkers with the naked eye

De La Rica, Roberto and Stevens, Molly M. (2012) Plasmonic ELISA for the ultrasensitive detection of disease biomarkers with the naked eye. Nature Nanotechnology, 7 (12). 821–824. ISSN 1748-3387

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Abstract

In resource-constrained countries, affordable methodologies for the detection of disease biomarkers at ultralow concentrations can potentially improve the standard of living1, 2. However, current strategies for ultrasensitive detection often require sophisticated instruments that may not be available in laboratories with fewer resources3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Here, we circumvent this problem by introducing a signal generation mechanism for biosensing that enables the detection of a few molecules of analyte with the naked eye. The enzyme label of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) controls the growth of gold nanoparticles and generates coloured solutions with distinct tonality when the analyte is present. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) and HIV-1 capsid antigen p24 were detected in whole serum at the ultralow concentration of 1 × 10−18 g ml−1. p24 was also detected with the naked eye in the sera of HIV-infected patients showing viral loads undetectable by a gold standard nucleic acid-based test