An interference-free and rapid electrochemical lateral-flow immunoassay for one-step ultrasensitive detection with serum†
Point-of-care testing (POCT) of biomarkers in clinical samples is of great importance for rapid and cost-effective diagnosis. However, it is extremely challenging to develop an electrochemical POCT technique retaining both ultrasensitivity and simplicity. We report an interference-free electrochemical lateral-flow immunoassay that enables one-step ultrasensitive detection with serum. The electrochemical–chemical–chemical (ECC) redox cycling combined with an enzymatic reaction of an enzyme label is used to obtain high signal amplification. The ECC redox cycling involving Ru(NH3)63+, enzyme product, and tris(3-carboxyethyl)phosphine (TCEP) depends on pH, because the formal potentials of an enzyme product and TCEP increase with decreasing pH although that of Ru(NH3)63+ is pH-independent. With consideration of the pH dependence of ECC redox cycling, a noble combination of enzyme label, substrate, and product [β-galactosidase, 4-amino-1-naphthyl β-D-galactopyranoside, and 4-amino-1-naphthol, respectively] is introduced to ensure fast and selective ECC redox cycling of the enzyme product along with a low background level. The selective ECC redox cycling at a low applied potential (0.05 V vs. Ag/AgCl) minimizes the interference effect of electroactive species (L-ascorbic acid, acetaminophen, and uric acid) in serum. A detection limit of 0.1 pg mL−1 for troponin I is obtained only 11 min after serum dropping without the use of an additional solution. Moreover, the lateral-flow immunoassay is applicable to the analysis of real clinical samples.