Navigation Links
Carbon nanotubes form ultrasensitive biosensor to detect proteins
Date:6/27/2010

A cluster of carbon nanotubes coated with a thin layer of protein-recognizing polymer form a biosensor capable of using electrochemical signals to detect minute amounts of proteins, which could provide a crucial new diagnostic tool for the detection of a range of illnesses, a team of Boston College researchers report in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

The nanotube biosensor proved capable of detecting human ferritin, the primary iron-storing protein of cells, and E7 oncoprotein derived from human papillomavirus. Further tests using calmodulin showed the sensor could discriminate between varieties of the protein that take different shapes, according to the multi-disciplinary team of biologists, chemists and physicists.

Molecular imprinting techniques have shown that polymer structures can be used in the development of sensors capable of recognizing certain organic compounds, but recognizing proteins has presented a difficult set of challenges. The BC team used arrays of wire-like nanotubes approximately one 300th the size of a human hair coated with a non-conducting polymer coating capable of recognizing proteins with subpicogram per liter sensitivity.

Central to the function of the sensor are imprints of the protein molecules within the non-conducting polymer coating. Because the imprints reduce the thickness of the coating, these regions of the polymer register a lower level of impedance than the rest of the polymer insulator when contacted by the charges inherent to the proteins and an ionized saline solution. When a protein molecule drops into its mirror image, it fills the void in the insulator, allowing the nanotubes to register a corresponding change in impedance, signaling the presence of the protein, according to co-author Dong Cai, an associate research professor of Biology at BC.

The detection can be read in real time, instead of after days or weeks of laboratory analysis, meaning the nanotube molecular imprinting technique could pave the way for biosensors capable of detecting human papillomavirus or other viruses weeks sooner than available diagnostic techniques currently allow. As opposed to searching for the HPV antibody or cell-mediated immine responses after initial infection, the nanotube sensor can track the HPV protein directly. In addition, no chemical marker is required by the lebel-free electrochemical detection methods.

"In the case of some diseases, no one can be sure why someone is ill," said Cai. "All that may be known is that it might be a virus. At that time, the patient may not have detectable serum antibodies. So at a time when it is critical to obtain a diagnosis, there may not be any traces of the virus. You've basically lost your chance. Now we can detect surface proteins of the virus itself through molecular imprinting and do the analysis."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ed Hayward
ed.hayward@bc.edu
617-552-4826
Boston College
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. In elevated carbon dioxide, soybeans stumble but cheatgrass keeps on truckin
2. Enzyme trio for biosynthesis of hydrocarbon fuels
3. Storing carbon dioxide deep underground in rock form
4. Geochemist raises questions about carbon sequestration at Goldschmidt Conference
5. Delineating primary and secondary organic carbon in neoproterozoic glacial sediments
6. ORNL sows seeds with new agricultural carbon accounting tool
7. The search for improved carbon sponges picks up speed
8. Winners of ONRs Energy Challenge to help Navy reduce its carbon footprint
9. Study: Carbon monoxide exposure can be reduced during routine anesthesia in kids
10. New ORNL carbon composite holds promise for bionics
11. Carbon nanotubes boost cancer-fighting cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/21/2016)... , Nov. 21, 2016   Neurotechnology , ... recognition technologies, today announced that the MegaMatcher On ... was submitted for the NIST Minutiae Interoperability ... all the mandatory steps of the evaluation protocol. ... a continuing test of fingerprint templates used to ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... Md. , Nov. 15, 2016  Synthetic ... company developing therapeutics focused on the gut microbiome, ... offering of 25,000,000 shares of its common stock ... common stock at a price to the public ... proceeds to Synthetic Biologics from the offering, excluding ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016  The American College of Medical Genetics and ... Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during ... the Bellagio in Las Vegas . ... of growth in each of the following categories: net square ... number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Kara Dwyer Dodge grew up hearing stories of the sea ... in Scituate, Mass., found a sea turtle entangled in the lines of one of his ... a minor sensation because no one could remember ever seeing one so large so close ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) ... (FDA) to consider OA as a serious disease. As an organization of professionals ... of OA patients, many of whom may experience progressive disability and decreased quality ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... today announced it has acquired the assets of Theorem Clinical Research - ... focuses on clinical trial drug packaging, labeling, storage, reconciliation, and distribution for ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... PARK, Calif. , Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... up to $150 million from the National Institutes ... Diseases and the Division of AIDS (NIAID-DAIDS) to ... and other non-vaccine pre-exposure (PreP) agents. Under the ... of preclinical product development services for candidate HIV-prevention ...
Breaking Biology Technology: