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Mol Biosyst. 2006 Oct;2(10):470-6. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Protein detection using biobarcodes.

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Nanosphere, Inc., 4088 Commercial Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062, USA.


Over the past 50 years the development of assays for the detection of protein analytes has been driven by continuing demands for higher levels of sensitivity and multiplexing. The result has been a progression of sandwich-type immunoassays, starting with simple radioisotopic, colorimetric, or fluorescent labeling systems to include various enzymatic or nanostructure-based signal amplification schemes, with a concomitant sensitivity increase of over 1 million fold. Multiplexing of samples and tests has been enabled by microplate and microarray platforms, respectively, or lately by various molecular barcoding systems. Two different platforms have emerged as the current front-runners by combining a nucleic acid amplification step with the standard two-sided immunoassay. In both, the captured protein analyte is replaced by a multiplicity of oligonucleotides that serve as surrogate targets. One of these platforms employs DNA or RNA polymerases for the amplification step, while detection is by fluorescence. The other is based on gold nanoparticles for both amplification as well as detection. The latter technology, now termed Biobarcode, is completely enzyme-free and offers potentially much higher multiplexing power.

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