A redox cycling-amplified electrochemical immunosensor for α-fetoprotein sensitive detection via polydopamine nanolabels†
A sandwich-type electrochemical immunosensor for sensitive detection of a tumor marker, α-fetoprotein (AFP), was fabricated by employing polydopamine-detection antibody nanoparticles (PDANPs-Ab2) as selective redox cycling-based signal amplifiers on an electrodeposited nano-gold electrode. In this research, PDANPs prepared through oxidative polymerization of dopamine were found to amplify the oxidation charge transfer of the electrochemical mediator (1,1′-ferrocene dimethanol, FDM), which was supported by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) investigation. Therefore, PDANPs were utilized as label materials of electrochemical immunosensors to enhance sensitivity for the first time. Meanwhile, the nano-gold electrode was used as a platform to accelerate electron transfer and immobilize capture antibody (Ab1). The electrochemical performance of the AFP immunosensor was investigated in PBS containing FDM with CV. Under optimal conditions, the constructed AFP immunosensor exhibited a wide linear range from 1 pg mL−1 to 50 ng mL−1 and a low detection limit of 0.3 pg mL−1, as well as excellent stability, reproducibility and selectivity. Measurements of AFP in human serum gave excellent correlation with the clinical standard Chemiluminescence Microparticle Immuno Assay (CMIA). These results indicated that the developed immunosensor may have promising application in the clinical diagnosis of AFP and other tumor markers.