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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2007 May 15;309(2):524-30. Epub 2007 Mar 26.

Enhanced immunoresponse of antibody/mixed-PEG co-immobilized surface construction of high-performance immunomagnetic ELISA system.

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Tsukuba Research Center for Interdisciplinary Materials Science, University of Tsukuba, Tennoudai 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan.


Poly(ethylene glycol) possessing pentaethylenehexamine at one end (N6-PEG) was prepared via a reductive amination reaction of aldehyde-ended PEG with pentaethylenehexamine. Using N6-PEG, an antibody/PEG co-immobilized surface was constructed on magnetic particles via an active ester reaction method. After immobilization of the antibody on the active ester surface, N6-PEG was reacted on the magnetic beads. A sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) system was newly constructed using PEG/antibody co-immobilized magnetic beads combined with an alkaline phosphatase (ALP)-assisted fluorescent detection system using alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) as a model antigen. The co-immobilization of both antibody and PEG on the magnetic bead surfaces reduced the nonspecific adsorption of proteins from cell lysates. Especially, when the magnetic particle surface was modified by N6-PEG mixtures with different molecular weights of 6000 and 2500 (6 kDa:2.5 kDa=9:1 w/w), the nonspecific adsorption of proteins was strongly suppressed. It is rather surprising for us that the sensitivity of the antibody on the surface was enhanced significantly when the PEG tethered chain was constructed in between the surface antibodies. Consequently, the mixed N6-PEG treatment showed a much higher S/N ratio than for the corresponding beads treated with bovine serum albumin (BSA), a conventional blocking reagent. Actually, when alpha-fetoprotein was analyzed by the magnetic bead-assisted ELISA thus constructed, the S/N ratio was about 20-fold higher for the mixed coating with PEG (6 kDa):PEG (2.5 kDa)=9:1, compared to the conventional BSA.

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