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Anal Chem. 2011 Dec 1;83(23):9191-6. doi: 10.1021/ac2023684. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

Nanotube-based colorimetric probe for ultrasensitive detection of ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein.

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Department of Naval Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China.


We have developed a nanotube-based colorimetric probe using multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), anti-immunoglobulin G (anti-IgG), and horseradish peroxidase (HRP). The probe was used as an alternative to conventional colorimetric conjugates to obtain amplified signals in a sandwich-type immunoassay for ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM), a potential biomarker for radiation doses and cancers. Results show that the MWNT-based probe colorimetry was 5000 times more sensitive than a conventional ELISA, while its concentration range was 10,000 times wider than that of the latter. Its limit of detection (LOD) was 0.2 fg/mL (54 aM, ~32 molecules in 1 μL samples). Control experiments showed that detection of ATM molecules at the picogram-level could still be achieved in samples that contained protein makers present at more than 100 times the ATM concentration, demonstrating the high specificity of the technique. The MWNT-based probe also has the potential to become a universal probe for colorimetric assays of most protein markers because it can recognize the associated rabbit polyclonal antibodies.

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