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Biosens Bioelectron. 2014 Mar 15;53:465-71. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2013.10.027. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Competitive-type displacement reaction for direct potentiometric detection of low-abundance protein.

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Key Laboratory of Analysis and Detection for Food Safety, Ministry of Education & Fujian Province, Department of Chemistry, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, PR China.


Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), one of the indications of possible prostate malignancy, is used as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer. Herein, we develop a new homogeneous potentiometric immunoassay for sensitive detection of low-concentration PSA without the need of sample separation and washing step. Two nanostructures including positively charged polyethyleneimine-poly(styrene-co-acrylic acid) (PEI-PSAA) nanospheres and negatively charged gold nanoparticles conjugated with anti-PSA antibody (Ab-AuNP) were first synthesized by using mulsifier-free emulsion copolymerization and wet chemistry method, respectively. Thereafter, the as-prepared PEI-PSAA was used as a pseudo hapten for the construction of immunosensing probe based on an electrostatic interaction between PEI-PSAA and Ab-AuNP. Upon target introduction, the added PSA competed with PEI-PASS for Ab-AuNP based on a specific antigen-antibody interaction, and displaced Ab-AuNP from PEI-PASS. The dissociated PEI-PASS was captured through the negatively charged Nafion- modified electrode, thereby resulting in the change of membrane potential. The fabrication process was characterized by using high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM), scanning electron microscope with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and dynamic laser scattering (DLS) technique. Under optimal conditions, the output signal was indirectly proportional to the concentration of target PSA in the sample and exhibited a dynamic range from 0.1 to 50 ng/mL with a detection limit (LOD) of 0.04 ng/mL. Intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation (CVs) were 6.8 and 7.5%, respectively. In addition, the methodology was evaluated for analysis of 12 clinical serum samples and showed good accordance between the results obtained by the developed immunosensing protocol and a commercialized enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method.


Competitive-type displacement reaction; Nanogold-labeled antibody; Polyethyleneimine-poly(styrene-co-acrylic acid) microsphere; Potentiometric immunoassay; Prostate-specific antigen

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