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Biomed Opt Express. 2017 Sep 11;8(10):4427-4437. doi: 10.1364/BOE.8.004427. eCollection 2017 Oct 1.

Label-free sensing of the binding state of MUC1 peptide and anti-MUC1 aptamer solution in fluidic chip by terahertz spectroscopy.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China.
Contributed equally.
Chongqing Key laboratory of Multi-Scale Manufacturing Technology, Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing, 400714, China.


The aptamer and target molecule binding reaction has been widely applied for construction of aptasensors, most of which are labeled methods. In contrast, terahertz technology proves to be a label-free sensing tool for biomedical applications. We utilize terahertz absorption spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulation to investigate the variation of binding-induced collective vibration of hydrogen bond network in a mixed solution of MUC1 peptide and anti-MUC1 aptamer. The results show that binding-induced alterations of hydrogen bond numbers could be sensitively reflected by the variation of terahertz absorption coefficients of the mixed solution in a customized fluidic chip. The minimal detectable concentration is determined as 1 pmol/μL, which is approximately equal to the optimal immobilized concentration of aptasensors.


(170.1420) Biology; (280.1415) Biological sensing and sensors; (300.6495) Spectroscopy, terahertz

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