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Label-free protein detection based on the heat-transfer method-a case study with the peanut allergen Ara h 1 and aptamer-based synthetic receptors

Peeters, M and Van Grinsven, B and Cleij, TJ and Jiménez-Monroy, KL and Cornelis, P and Pérez-Ruiz, E and Wackers, G and Thoelen, R and De Ceuninck, W and Lammertyn, J and Wagner, P (2015) Label-free protein detection based on the heat-transfer method-a case study with the peanut allergen Ara h 1 and aptamer-based synthetic receptors. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 7 (19). pp. 10316-10323. ISSN 1944-8244

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Abstract

© 2015 American Chemical Society. Aptamers are an emerging class of molecules that, because of the development of the systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) process, can recognize virtually every target ranging from ions, to proteins, and even whole cells. Although there are many techniques capable of detecting template molecules with aptamer-based systems with high specificity and selectivity, they lack the possibility of integrating them into a compact and portable biosensor setup. Therefore, we will present the heat-transfer method (HTM) as an interesting alternative because this offers detection in a fast and low-cost manner and has the possibility of performing experiments with a fully integrated device. This concept has been demonstrated for a variety of applications including DNA mutation analysis and screening of cancer cells. To the best our knowledge, this is the first report on HTM-based detection of proteins, in this case specifically with aptamer-type receptors. For proof-of-principle purposes, measurements will be performed with the peanut allergen Ara h 1 and results indicate detection limits in the lower nanomolar regime in buffer liquid. As a first proof-of-application, spiked Ara h 1 solutions will be studied in a food matrix of dissolved peanut butter. Reference experiments with the quartz-crystal microbalance will allow for an estimate of the areal density of aptamer molecules on the sensor-chip surface.

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