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Nanotechnology. 2013 Jul 19;24(28):285103. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/24/28/285103. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

Harnessing immunomagnetic separation and quantum dot-based quantification capacities for the enumeration of absolute levels of biomarker.

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Center for Biomaterials Biomedical Research Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology-KIST, Seoul 136-791, Republic of Korea.


The field of biomarker quantification has experienced a growth parallel to the discovery of new materials. In this paper, we propose an innovative system for the separation and quantification of biomarkers using a simple magnetic bead (MB)-quantum dot (QD) sandwich assay. The basis of the system lies in the interaction between histidine residues on protein G and Ni ions on QDs, and the use of imidazole to selectively detach QDs bound to target biomarkers, in effect enumerating the absolute number of biomarker units. We used C-reactive protein (CRP) as a proof-of-concept and demonstrated a detection sensitivity of 82.5 fmoles in 50 μl of sample volume, a commonly used analytical volume (e.g. ELISA). Although CRP was used as a model to conduct this study, the sensitivity and simplicity of this detachable system make it a viable approach in the quantification of other target analytes.

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