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Ultrasensitive And Low-volume Point-of-care Diagnostics On Flexible Strips – A Study With Cardiac Troponin Biomarkers

Nandhinee Radha Shanmugam, Sriram Muthukumar, Shalini Prasad
Published 2016 · Materials Science, Medicine
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We demonstrate a flexible, mechanically stable, and disposable electrochemical sensor platform for monitoring cardiac troponins through the detection and quantification of cardiac Troponin-T (cTnT). We designed and fabricated nanostructured zinc oxide (ZnO) sensing electrodes on flexible porous polyimide substrates. We demonstrate ultrasensitive detection is capable at very low sample volumes due to the confinement phenomenon of target species within the ZnO nanostructures leading to enhancement of biomolecular binding on the sensor electrode surface. The performance of the ZnO nanostructured sensor electrode was evaluated against gold and nanotextured ZnO electrodes. The electrochemical sensor functions on affinity based immunoassay principles whereby monoclonal antibodies for cTnT were immobilized on the sensor electrodes using thiol based chemistry. Detection of cTnT in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and human serum (HS) buffers was achieved at low sample volumes of 20 μL using non-faradaic electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Limit of detection (LOD) of 1E-4 ng/mL (i.e. 1 pg/mL) at 7% CV (coefficient of variation) for cTnT in HS was demonstrated on nanostructured ZnO electrodes. The mechanical integrity of the flexible biosensor platform was demonstrated with cyclic bending tests. The sensor performed within 12% CV after 100 bending cycles demonstrating the robustness of the nanostructured ZnO electrochemical sensor platform.
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