, Volume 397, Issue 4, pp 1457-1466
Date: 28 Mar 2010

Optical recognition of salivary proteins by use of molecularly imprinted poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol)/quantum dot composite nanoparticles

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Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) have long been studied for applications in biomolecule recognition and binding; compared with natural antibodies, they may offer advantages in cost and stability. We report on the development of MIPs that “self-report” concentrations of bound analytes via fluorescence changes in embedded quantum dots (QDots). Composite QDot/MIPs were prepared using phase inversion of poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol) (EVAL) solutions with various ethylene mole ratios in the presence of salivary target molecules (e.g. amylase, lipase, and lysozyme). These major protein components of saliva have been implicated as possible biomarkers for pancreatic cancer. The optimum (highest imprinting effectiveness) ethylene mole ratios of the commercially available EVALs were found to be 32, 38, and 44 mol% for the imprinting of amylase, lipase, and lysozyme, respectively. QD fluorescence quenching was observed on binding of analytes to composite MIPs in a concentration-dependent manner, and was used to construct calibration curves. Finally, the composite MIP particles were used for the quantitative detection of amylase, lipase, and lysozyme in real samples (saliva) and compared with a commercial Architect ci 8200 chemical analysis system.