Ultra-sensitive detection of protein biomarkers for diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease†
Beta amyloid peptide, tau, and phosphorylated tau are well recognized as promising biomarkers for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this work, we developed a direct, versatile, and ultrasensitive multiplex assay for the quantification of trace amounts of these protein biomarkers for AD in different types of biological fluids including cerebrospinal fluid, serum, saliva, and urine. The detection assay is based on the immunoreaction between the target proteins and their corresponding pair of antibodies followed by fluorescence labelling with a newly developed indolium-based turn-on fluorophore, namely SIM. SIM was tailor-made as a reporter to provide a high signal-to-noise ratio for the detection assay. An exceptionally low limit of detection down to the femto-molar level was achieved in this assay with minute consumption of the sample. This versatile detection assay is capable of reliably quantifying not only the target proteins simultaneously from a CSF sample in an hour but also trace amounts of protein biomarkers in saliva and urine. This assay has a high potential to serve as a practical tool for the diagnosis of AD.