Simple and ultrastable all-inclusive pullulan tablets for challenging bioassays†
Many biodetection systems employ labile enzymes and substrates that need special care, making it hard to routinely use them for point-of-care or field applications. In this work we provide a simple solution to this challenging problem through the creation of all-inclusive pullulan assay tablets. The proposed tablet system not only enhances the long-term stability of both enzymes and organic substrates, but also simplifies the assay procedure. The enhanced stability is attributed to two factors: the restriction of the molecular motion of proteins and impermeability to molecular oxygen afforded by the tables. These tablets dissolve rapidly upon addition to testing samples, making the test very easy to perform. Using the ATP-detecting luciferase–luciferin system as an example, we show that the tablet-based assay can achieve highly sensitive detection of ATP in biological samples and that the activity of the assay tablets remains unchanged for over a month at room temperature.