One-step detection of pathogens and cancer biomarkers by the naked eye based on aggregation of immunomagnetic beads†
This report shows that immunomagnetic beads (IMBs) can act as the optical readout for assays, in addition to serving as the carrier for purification/separation. Under the influence of an external magnet, IMBs are attracted to coat one side of a test tube. IMBs specifically bound to targets can form a narrow brown stripe, whereas free IMBs will form a diffuse, yellow coating on the side of the test tube. Target analytes can aggregate initially dispersed IMBs in a sample concentration-dependent manner, yielding a color change from yellow to brown that can be seen with the naked eye. This assay combines the convenience of a lateral flow assay, allowing a one-step assay to finish within 15 min, with the sensitivity of an enzyme-linked immonosorbent assay.