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Microfluidic ELISA Employing an Enzyme Substrate and Product Species with Similar Detection Properties


The requirement for the enzyme label to carry out a chemical reaction directly at the signaling region of the enzyme substrate in order to produce a large change in its detectability places a significant constraint on the scope of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). In particular, this requirement limits the kinds of enzyme label-substrate couples employable in ELISAs and prevents their independent optimization with respect to the enzyme reaction and the detectability of the enzyme reaction substrate/product. The detection limit and multiplexing capabilities of the assay are consequently restricted in addition to rendering the technique applicable to a narrow range of assay conditions/samples. Attempting to address some of these limitations, the current article describes a microfluidic ELISA method that does not require the enzyme label to act around the signaling region of the substrate molecule. A highly detectable rhodamine based substrate was synthesized to demonstrate the reported assay which upon cleavage by the enzyme label, alkaline phosphatase, transformed from a monoanionic to a monocationic species both of which had nearly identical fluorescence properties. These species were later separated based on their charge difference using capillary zone electrophoresis in an integrated device yielding a quantitative measure for the analyte (human TNF-α) in our sample. Impressively, the noted approach not only enabled the use of a new kind of enzyme substrate for ELISAs but also allowed the detection of human TNF-α at concentrations over 54-fold smaller than that possible on commercial microwell plates primarily due to the better detectability of the rhodamine dye.

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Oct 2017, accepted on 26 Dec 2017 and first published on 04 Jan 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7AN01671A
Citation: Analyst, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Microfluidic ELISA Employing an Enzyme Substrate and Product Species with Similar Detection Properties

    Y. Liu, B. Giri, F. N. Nchocho, R. C. Corcoran and D. Dutta, Analyst, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7AN01671A

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