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Anal Chem. 2008 Nov 1;80(21):7970-9. doi: 10.1021/ac8008093. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

A 200-antibody microarray biochip for environmental monitoring: searching for universal microbial biomarkers through immunoprofiling.

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Laboratories of Molecular Ecology, Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), Carretera de Ajalvir km 4, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850, Madrid, Spain.


Environmental biomonitoring approaches require the measurement of either unequivocal biomarkers or specific biological profiles. Antibody microarrays constitute new tools for fast and reliable analysis of up to hundreds of biomarkers simultaneously. Herein we report 150 new polyclonal antibodies against microbial strains and environmental extracts, as well as the construction and validation of an antibody microarray (EMCHIP200, for "Environmental Monitoring Chip") containing 200 different antibodies. Each antibody was tested against its antigen for its specificity and cross-reactivity by a sandwich microarray immunoassay. The limit of detection was 0.2 ng mL (-1) for some proteins and 10 (4)-10 (5) cells mL (-1) for bacterial cells and spores. Partial biochemical characterization allowed identification of polymeric compounds (proteins and polysaccharides) as some of the targets recognized by the antibodies. We have successfully used the EMCHIP200 for the detection of biological polymers in samples from extreme environments around the world (e.g., a deep South African mine, Antarctica's dry valleys, Yellowstone National Park, Iceland, and Rio Tinto surface and subsurface). Clustering analysis permitted us to associate similar immunoprofiles or patterns to samples from apparently very different environments, indicating that they indeed share similar universal biomarkers. Our EMCHIP200 constitutes a new generation of immunosensors for biomarker detection and profiling, for either environmental, industrial, biotechnological, or astrobiological applications.

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