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Three-dimensional biosensor surface based on novel thorns-like polyelectrolytes

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Abstract

We have developed a new three-dimensional (3D) surface for use in biosensors that is based on modified novel thorns-like polyelectrolytes (3D-PETx), which comprises of poly-l-lysine (PLL) appended with multitude oligo (ethylene glycol) (OEG) and biotin moieties. It tethered to the sensor surface by PLL, while the OEG-biotin chains are forced to stretch away from the surface for target detections. Due to its 3D structure, the number of the OEG-biotin per surface unit is markedly increased compared to conventional 2D polyelectrolytes (2D-PET) coating. Their antifouling property and sensing performance for human IgG and PSA were compared with the 2D-PET by BioLayer Interferometry (Blitz), Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), microfluidic devices and Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA). Experimental results show that 3D-PETx presents higher sensitivity for biomarker detection both in buffer and in serum and provides an almost non-fouling surface even in undiluted serum. In addition, a sensitive PSA detection was achieved in undiluted serum with a LOD down to 0.6 ng/mL. The successful immunosensing in undiluted serum demonstrate the potential of the 3D-PETx coating for real clinical applications.

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To utilize aptamers as molecular recognition agents in biosensors and biodiagnostics, it is important to develop strategies for reliable immobilization of aptamers so that they retain their biophysical characteristics and binding abilities. Here we report on quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) measurements and atomic force microscope (AFM)-based force spectroscopy studies to evaluate aptasensors fabricated by different modification strategies. Gold surfaces were modified with mixed self assembled monolayers (SAMs) of aptamer and oligoethylene glycol (OEG) thiols (HS-C(11)-(EG)(n)OH, n=3 or 6) to impart resistance to nonspecific protein adsorption. By affinity analysis, we show that short OEG thiols have less impact on aptamer accessibility than longer chain thiols. Backfilling with OEG as a step subsequent to aptamer immobilization provides greater surface coverage than using aptamer and OEG thiol to form a mixed SAM in one-step. Immunoglobulin E and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were studied as target proteins in these experiments. Binding forces obtained by these strategies are similar, demonstrating that the biophysical properties of the aptamer on the sensors are independent from the immobilization strategy. The results present mixed SAMs with aptamers and co-adsorbents as a versatile strategy for aptamer sensor platforms including ultrasensitive biosensor design.
Article
Physical or covalent adsorption of surface-active block or random copolymers consisting of anchoring units and functional units onto solid surfaces yields polymeric self-assembled monolayers (PSAMs) with designed chemical and morphological structures and functionalities. This tutorial review provides an overview of PSAMs derived from various types of copolymers. It also discusses design principles for PSAMs to tune interfacial and surface interactions of materials for potential applications.
Article
A simple dipping process has been used to prepare PEGylated surface gradients from the polycationic polymer poly(L-lysine), grafted with poly(ethylene glycol) (PLL-g-PEG), on metal oxide substrates, such as TiO(2) and Nb(2)O(5). PLL-g-PEG coverage gradients were prepared during an initial, controlled immersion and characterized with variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Gradients with a linear change in thickness and coverage were generated by the use of an immersion program based on an exponential function. These single-component gradients were used to study the adsorption of proteins of different sizes and shapes, namely, albumin, immunoglobulin G, and fibrinogen. The authors have shown that the density and size of defects in the PLL-g-PEG adlayer determine the amount of protein that is adsorbed at a certain adlayer thickness. In a second step, single-component gradients of functionalized PLL-g-PEG were backfilled with nonfunctionalized PLL-g-PEG to generate two-component gradients containing functional groups, such as biotin, in a protein-resistant background. Such gradients were combined with a patterning technique to generate individually addressable spots on a gradient surface. The surfaces generated in this way show promise as a useful and versatile biochemical screening tool and could readily be incorporated into a method for studying the behavior of cells on functionalized surfaces.
Article
Short peptides, composed of polar or ionic amino acids, derived with a short organic thiol, significantly reduce nonspecific adsorption of proteins in complex biological matrices such as serum and crude cell lysate, which have nonspecific protein concentrations of 76 and 30-60 mg/mL, respectively. Minimizing these nonspecific interactions has allowed rapid and direct quantification of beta-lactamase in a crude cell lysate using a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor. A library of short peptides with varying chain length and amino acid composition were synthesized using a solid-phase approach. A 3-mercaptopropionic acid (3-MPA) linker was covalently attached to the amino terminus of the peptides to subsequently form a monolayer on gold in the form of 3-MPA-(AA)(n)-OH, where n is the length of the amino acid chain (n = 2-5). Leu, Phe, Ser, Asp, and His were selected to investigate the effect on nonspecific adsorption with different physicochemical properties of the sidechains; aliphatic, aromatic, polar, acid, and base. Advancing contact angles measured the hydrophobicity of each peptidic self-assembled monolayer (SAM) and showed that hydrophilicity of the gold surface improved as the chain length of the polar or ionic peptides increased, while aromatic and aliphatic peptides decreased the hydrophilicity as the chain length increased. The nonspecific adsorption of undiluted bovine serum on SPR sensors prepared with the library of 3-MPA-(AA)(n)-OH showed that the lowest nonspecific adsorption occurred with polar or ionic amino acids with a chain length of n = 5. We demonstrate that a monolayer composed of 3-MPA-(Ser)(5)-OH has significant advantages, including the following: (1) it minimizes nonspecific adsorption in undiluted bovine serum; (2) it provides a high surface concentration of immobilized antibodies; (3) it shows a great retention of activity for the antibodies; (4) it improves the response from beta-lactamase by approximately 1 order of magnitude, compared to previous experiments; and (5) it allows direct quantification of submicromolar beta-lactamase concentration in a crude cell lysate with a nonspecific protein concentration of 30-60 mg/mL. The use of this peptide-based monolayer offers great advantages for quantitative SPR biosensing in complex biological media.
Article
Molecular simulations were performed to study the interactions between a protein (lysozyme, LYZ) and phosphorylcholine-terminated self-assembled monolayers (PC-SAMs) in the presence of explicit water molecules and ions. The results show that the water molecules above the PC-SAM surface create a strong repulsive force on the protein as it approaches the surface. The structural and dynamic properties of the water molecules above the PC-SAM surface were analyzed to provide information regarding the role of hydration in surface resistance to protein adsorption. It can be seen from residence time dynamics that the water molecules immediately above the PC-SAM surface are significantly slowed down as compared to bulk water, suggesting that the PC-SAM surface generates a tightly bound, structured water layer around its head groups. Moreover, the orientational distribution and reorientational dynamics of the interfacial water molecules near the PC-SAM surface were found to have the ionic solvation nature of the PC head groups. These properties were also compared to those obtained previously for an oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) SAM system and bulk water.
Article
Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of omega-functionalized long-chain alkanethiolates on gold films are excellent model systems with which to study the interactions of proteins with organic surfaces. Monolayers containing mixtures of hydrophobic (methyl-terminated) and hydrophilic [hydroxyl-, maltose-, and hexa(ethylene glycol)-terminated] alkanethiols can be tailored to select specific degrees of adsorption: the amount of protein adsorbed varies monotonically with the composition of the monolayer. The hexa(ethylene glycol)-terminated SAMs are the most effective in resisting protein adsorption. The ability to create interfaces with similar structures and well-defined compositions should make it possible to test hypotheses concerning protein adsorption.
Article
Biosensors for organophosphates in solution may be constructed by monitoring the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) or organophosphate hydrolase (OPH) immobilized to a variety of microsensor platforms. The area available for enzyme immobilization is small (< 1 mm2) for microsensors. In order to construct microsensors with increased surface area for enzyme immobilization, we used a sol-gel process to create highly porous and stable silica matrices. Surface porosity of sol-gel coated surfaces was characterized using scanning electron microscopy; pore structure was found to be very similar to that of commercially available porous silica supports. Based upon this analysis, porous and non-porous silica beads were used as model substrates of sol-gel coated and uncoated sensor surfaces. Two different covalent chemistries were used to immobilize AChE and OPH to these porous and non-porous silica beads. The first chemistry used amine-silanization of silica followed by enzyme attachment using the homobifunctional linker glutaraldehyde. The second chemistry used sulfhydryl-silanization followed by enzyme attachment using the heterobifunctional linker N-gamma-maleimidobutyryloxy succinimide ester (GMBS). Surfaces were characterized in terms of total enzyme immobilized, total and specific enzyme activity, and long term stability of enzyme activity. Amine derivitization followed by glutaraldehyde linking yielded supports with greater amounts of immobilized enzyme and activity. Use of porous supports not only yielded greater amounts of immobilized enzyme and activity, but also significantly improved long term stability of enzyme activity. Enzyme was also immobilized to sol-gel coated glass slides. The mass of immobilized enzyme increased linearly with thickness of coating. However, immobilized enzyme activity saturated at a porous silica thickness of approximately 800 nm.
Article
The highly sensitive surface analytical techniques X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time-of-flight static secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) were used to test the resistance of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) coatings towards adsorption of lysozyme (LYS) and fibronectin (FN). PEG coatings were prepared by grafting methoxy-terminated aldehyde-PEG (MW 5000 Da) onto two amino-functionalised surfaces with different amine group densities, generated by radio frequency glow discharge polymerisation of n-heptylamine and allylamine. Grafting was performed at the lower critical solution temperature to maximise the graft density of the PEG chains. XPS showed that the grafted density of PEG chains was slightly higher on the allylamine surface. XPS detected no adsorption of either protein on either PEG coating. ToF-SIMS analysis, on the other hand, found, in the positive ion spectra, minute but statistically significant signals assignable to amino acid fragment ions from both proteins adsorbed to the lower density PEG coating and from LYS but not FN on the higher density PEG coating. Negative ion spectra contained relatively more intense protein fragment ion signals for the lower density PEG coating but no changes assignable to adsorbed proteins on the higher density PEG coating. These results demonstrate the importance of utilising highly sensitive techniques to study protein adsorption on surfaces intended to be protein resistant, and that both positive and negative ion ToF-SIMS spectra should be acquired to probe for possible very low levels of protein adsorption.
Article
An overview is given of the preparation, formation, structure, and applications of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) formed from alkanethiols (and derivatives of alkanethiols) on gold, silver, copper, palladium, platinum, mercury, and alloys of these metals. Emphasis is on advances made in this area over the past five years (1999-2004). First, the structure and mechanism of formation of SAMs formed by adsorption of n-alkanethiols on metals are described. Following this, the applications of SAMs where they act as nanostructures themselves, enable other nanosystems, interact with biological nanostructures, and form patterns on surfaces with critical dimensions below 100 nm are outlined. Furthermore, an attempt is made to outline what is not understood about these SAMs and which of their properties are not yet controlled. Finally, some of the important opportunities that still remain for future progress in research involving SAMs are sketched.
Article
In this work, we show the strong resistance of zwitterionic phosphorylcholine (PC) self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) to protein adsorption and examine key factors leading to their nonfouling behavior using both experimental and molecular simulation techniques. Zwitterions with a balanced charge and minimized dipole are excellent candidates as nonfouling materials due to their strong hydration capacity via electrostatic interactions.
Article
By utilizing flow-controlled PLL-g-PEG and PLL-g-PEGbiotin modification of predefined regions of a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) micro-fluidic device, with an intentionally chosen large (approximately 1 cm2) internal surface area, we report rapid (10 min), highly localized (6 x 10(-6) cm2), and specific surface-based protein capture from a sample volume (100 microL) containing a low amount of protein (160 attomol in pure buffer and 400 attomol in serum). The design criteria for this surface modification were achieved using QCM-D (quartz crystal microbalance with energy dissipation monitoring) of serum protein adsorption onto PLL-g-PEG-modified oxidized PDMS. Equally good, or almost as good, results were obtained for oxidized SU-8, Topas, and poly(methyl metacrylate) (PMMA), demonstrating the generic potential of PLL-g-PEG for surface modification in various micro-fluidic applications.
Article
Thin films of 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) are commonly used to promote adhesion between silica substrates and organic or metallic materials with applications ranging from advanced composites to biomolecular lab-on-a-chip. Unfortunately, there is confusion as to which reaction conditions will result in consistently aminated surfaces. A wide range of conflicting experimental methods are used with researchers often assuming the creation of smooth self-assembled monolayers. A range of film morphologies based on the film deposition conditions are presented here to establish an optimized method of APTES film formation. The effect of reaction temperature, solution concentration, and reaction time on the structure and morphology was studied for the system of APTES on silica. Three basic morphologies were observed: smooth thin film, smooth thick film, and roughened thick film.
Article
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is the best serum marker currently available for the detection of prostate cancer and is the forensic marker of choice for determining the presence of azoospermic semen in some sexual assault cases. Most current assays for PSA detection are processed on large analyzers at dedicated testing sites, which require that samples be sent away for testing. This leads to delays in patient management and increased administration costs. The recent emphasis placed on the need for point-of-care patient management has led to the development of novel biosensor detection strategies that are suitable for the miniaturization of assays for various targets including PSA. This review highlights the current and novel analytical technologies used for PSA detection, which will benefit clinicians, patients and forensic workers in the future.