Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance work on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (GMT).

During this time our website performance may be temporarily affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 40, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

Towards low-cost bioanalytical tools for sarcosine assays for cancer diagnostics

Author affiliations


Sarcosine is an amino acid that has been listed as a new indicator for prostate cancer. We present here two low-cost tools with the potential to detect this biomarker excreted in urine. The first one is a paper-based microfluidic device manufactured by wax printing technology in which an enzymatic assay is performed. The enzymatic assay comprises two coupled enzymatic reactions between sarcosine oxidase and horseradish peroxidase, with the ABTS redox indicator oxidized when sarcosine is present in the sample. This enzymatic assay on paper could be used as a preliminary screening method and presents a linear range up to 1 mmol L−1, with a sensitivity of 21.2 A.U. (mmol L−1)−1; LOD = 0.21 mmol L−1; LOQ = 0.61 mmol L−1 and r2 = 0.8898. The second bioanalytical approach consists of a capillary electrophoresis method with capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection (CE-C4D). This method proved to be useful to separate sarcosine from 12 amino acids typically found in normal human urine using 10 mmol L−1 of triethylamine (TEA) as the background electrolyte. This method could be used as a follow-up method after the initial screening and presented a stable baseline, LOD = 0.034 mmol L−1 and LOQ = 0.069 mmol L−1. Migration time reproducibility (RSD) for intraday and inter-day assays was smaller than 0.6% and 4.4%, respectively. Both tools were able to analyze this potential tumor marker for prostate cancer, with capabilities of miniaturization and low-cost, essential characteristics for point-of-care testing (POCT) technology. Paper-based devices are inexpensive and simple, making them ideal for screening tests and telemedicine, while separation by CE-C4D presents high sensitivity and throughput, useful characteristics for exploratory studies.

Graphical abstract: Towards low-cost bioanalytical tools for sarcosine assays for cancer diagnostics

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 29 Jun 2016, accepted on 13 Sep 2016 and first published on 15 Sep 2016

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C6AY01848C
Anal. Methods, 2016,8, 7312-7318

  •   Request permissions

    Towards low-cost bioanalytical tools for sarcosine assays for cancer diagnostics

    T. Mazzu-Nascimento, P. A. Gomes Carneiro Leão, J. R. Catai, G. G. Morbioli and E. Carrilho, Anal. Methods, 2016, 8, 7312
    DOI: 10.1039/C6AY01848C

Search articles by author