We report on a highly sensitive aptameric assay system for the determination of IgE, where a special chemiluminescence (CL) reagent, 3,4,5-trimethoxylphenylglyoxal (TMPG), acts as the signaling molecule and polystyrene beads as the amplification platform. Briefly, a “sandwich-type” detection strategy is employed in our design, where magnetic beads functionalized with a capture antibody were reacted with the target protein IgE, and then sandwiched with the aptamer-barcodes which were prepared by assembling polystyrene beads with IgE aptamer. The target immunoreaction event could be sensitively detected via an instantaneous derivatization reaction between TMPG and the guanine (G) nucleotides within the aptamer-barcodes to form an unstable CL intermediate for the generation of light. Further signal amplification is achieved by extending the G nucleotide-rich domain on the aptamer backbone for second amplification. Such simple amplified CL transduction allows the detection of IgE down to the 4.6 pM level, which is better than most previous aptameric methods for IgE detection. This new protocol also provides a good capability in discriminating IgE from nontarget proteins such as IgG, IgA, IgM, interferon and thrombin. The practical application of the proposed aptamer-barcode based immunoassay was successfully carried out for the determination of IgE in 20 human serum samples. It is straightforward to adapt this strategy to detect a spectrum of other proteins by using different aptamers, thus this method may offer a new direction in designing high-performance CL aptasensors for early diagnoses of diseases.
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