Simultaneous detection of small molecules, proteins and microRNAs using single molecule arrays†
Biological samples such as blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid and saliva contain a large variety of proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules. These molecules can serve as potential biomarkers of disease and therefore, it is desirable to simultaneously detect multiple biomarkers in one sample. Current detection techniques suffer from various limitations including low analytical sensitivity and complex sample processing. In this work, we present an ultrasensitive method for simultaneous detection of small molecules, proteins and microRNAs using single molecule arrays (Simoa). Dye-encoded beads modified with specific capture probes were used to quantify each analyte. Multiplex competitive Simoa assays were established for simultaneous detection of cortisol and prostaglandin E2. In addition, competitive and sandwich immunoassays were combined with a direct nucleic acid hybridization assay for simultaneous detection of cortisol, interleukin 6 and microRNA 141. The multi-analyte Simoa assay shows high sensitivity and specificity, which provides a powerful tool for the analysis of many different samples.