Designed protein binders in combination with nanocrystalline diamond for use in high-sensitivity biosensors
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A platform for diagnostic applications showing signal-to-noise ratios that by far surpass those of traditional bioanalytical test formats has been developed. It combines the properties of modified nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) surfaces and those of polyethylene oxide and polypropylene oxide based block copolymers for surface passivation and binder conjugation with a new class of synthetic binders for proteins. The NCD surfaces were fluorine-, hydrogen-, or oxygen-terminated prior to further biofunctionalization and the surface composition was characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. In a proof of principle demonstration targeting the C-reactive protein, an ELISA carried out using an F-terminated diamond surface showed a signal-to-noise ratio of 3,900 which compares well to the signal-to-noise of 89 obtained in an antibody-based ELISA on a polystyrene microtiter plate, a standard test format used in most life science laboratories today. The increase in signal-to-noise ratio is to a large extent the result of extremely efficient passivation of the diamond surface. The results suggest that significant improvements can be obtained in standardized test formats using new materials in combination with new types of chemical coatings and receptor molecules.
KeywordsProtein binders Nanocrystalline diamond CRP Biosensor Surface characterization
This work has enjoyed financial support from the Uppsala Berzelii Technology Centre for Neurodiagnostics and by The Swedish Diamond Centre. We also wish to thank Allvivo Inc. for supporting us with Pluronic F108-PDS.
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