Retracted Article: A battle between spherical and cube-shaped Ag/AgCl nanoparticle modified imprinted polymer to achieve femtogram detection of alpha-feto protein†
In this work, a sensitive and selective molecularly imprinted polymer modified electrochemical sensor was developed for the detection of the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) biomarker, alpha feto protein (AFP) on the surface of specifically designed Ag/AgCl nanoparticles. Herein, for the first time, the effect of the shape of nanoparticles on the behavior of an imprinted polymer was studied using cube- and spherical-shaped Ag/AgCl nanoparticles. It was found that cube-shaped nanoparticles have high surface to volume ratios and higher electrocatalytic activity, and are, therefore, a suitable platform for the synthesis of imprinted polymers. Herein, we have demonstrated how a change in the morphology of the nanomaterials can affect the electrochemical and adsorption properties of an imprinted polymer towards the target analyte (here, AFP). A cube-shaped nanoparticle@imprinted polymer was used for the fabrication of the electrochemical sensor, the analytical performance of which was shown, by a square wave stripping voltammetric technique, to be good for the detection of AFP. The current response of the electrochemical sensor was linear for AFP concentrations in the range from 0.10 to 700.0 pg mL−1, with an ultra trace detection limit of 24.6 fg mL−1. This sensor offers high selectivity, sensitivity, simplicity and clinical applicability for AFP determination in human blood serum, plasma, and urine, without using antibodies or any biological components, this has not been reported for previously reported systems. The proposed sensor has the potential to be used as an alternative to the commercially available, costly, sophisticated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits for AFP determination.