A fluorescent molecularly imprinted device for the on-line analysis of AFP in human serum†
MIT is a promising strategy in antibody free analysis for tumour markers. Conventional nanosized MIPs with off-line analysis are beset by tedious operation and unsatisfactory analysis performance. In this work, an on-line analytical device to directly detect AFP, which is a typical tumour marker in cancer screening, was prepared for the first time. A microscope slide was chosen to be the basis of the device. APBA–PA, a polymerizable fluorescent boronic acid monomer, was synthesised and grafted on the surface of the microscope slide to act as the signal transduction pathway between the templates and the device. Along with the hydrolysis of TEOS and the elution of the templates, a portable, stable, easy to operate and low-cost analysis device for AFP with excellent repeatability was successfully prepared. Owing to the excellent selectivity and highly sensitive fluorescence response ability of the device towards the templates, the on-line detection of AFP in human serum was realized. A series of characterizations were applied to the device, and its analysis performance and possible detection mechanism were carefully studied. Furthermore, the device exhibited appropriate application prospects by comparing its analysis results with those of the commercially available ELISA. In our perception, this work is an important step towards MIPs for clinical applications.