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Electrochem commun. 2009;11(5):1009-1012.

Electrochemical Immunosensors for Interleukin-6. Comparison of Carbon Nanotube Forest and Gold Nanoparticle platforms.

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Department of Chemistry, Salve Regina University, 100 Ochre Point Avenue, RI 02840, USA.


Electrochemical immunosensors based on single wall nanotube (SWNT) forests and 5 nm glutathione-protected gold nanoparticles (GSH-AuNP) were developed and compared for the measurement of human cancer biomarker interleukin-6 (IL-6) in serum. Detection was based on sandwich immunoassays using multiple (14-16) horseradish peroxidase labels conjugated to a secondary antibody. Performance was optimized by effective blocking of non-specific binding (NSB) of the labels using bovine serum albumin. The GSH-AuNP immunosensor gave a detection limit (DL) of 10 pg mL(-1) IL-6 (500 amol mL(-1)) in 10 muL calf serum, which was 3-fold better than 30 pg mL(-1) found for the SWNT forest immunosensor for the same assay protocol. The GSH-AuNPs platform also gave a much larger linear dynamic range (20-4000 pg mL(-1)) than the SWNT system (40-150 pg mL(-1)), but the SWNTs had 2-fold better sensitivity in the low pg mL(-1) range.

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