Cascaded multiple recycling amplifications for aptamer-based ultrasensitive fluorescence detection of protein biomarkers
Highly sensitive detection of molecular biomarkers plays a significant role in diagnosing various types of diseases at the early stage. We demonstrated in this paper an ultrasensitive aptamer-based fluorescence method for detecting mucin 1 (MUC1) in human serum via a cascaded multiple recycling signal amplification strategy. The MUC1 target molecules present in the samples cause structure switching of the hairpin aptamer probes, which initiates three cascaded recycling cycles for the cleavage of the fluorescently quenched signal probes to recover significant fluorescence for highly sensitive detection of MUC1. The developed method has a linear range from 100 fM to 1 nM for MUC1 detection. Besides, owing to the substantial signal amplification by the integrated and cascaded recycling cycles, a low detection limit of 35 fM is achieved with high selectivity. Moreover, the monitoring of trace MUC1 in human serum can also be realized with such a method, indicating its great potential for highly sensitive detection of different disease biomarkers.