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Nano Lett. 2008 Dec;8(12):4386-90. doi: 10.1021/nl802245w.

Aptamer-based SERRS sensor for thrombin detection.

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Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center, Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center, Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


We describe an aptamer-based surface enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) sensor with high sensitivity, specificity, and stability for the detection of a coagulation protein, human alpha-thrombin. The sensor achieves high sensitivity and a limit of detection of 100 pM by monitoring the SERRS signal change upon the single-step of thrombin binding to immobilized thrombin binding aptamer. The selectivity of the sensor is demonstrated by the specific discrimination of thrombin from other protein analytes. The specific recognition and binding of thrombin by the thrombin binding aptamer is essential to the mechanism of the aptamer-based sensor, as shown through measurements using negative control oligonucleotides. In addition, the sensor can detect 1 nM thrombin in the presence of complex biofluids, such as 10% fetal calf serum, demonstrating that the immobilized, 5'-capped, 3'-capped aptamer is sufficiently robust for clinical diagnostic applications. Furthermore, the proposed sensor may be implemented for multiplexed detection using different aptamer-Raman probe complexes.

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