Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemists develop innovative nano-sensors for multiple proteins

31.07.2013
Test strips bearing gold nano-particles as sensor elements can detect numerous proteins simultaneously / New concept with potential applications in medicine, environmental technology, and foodstuff analysis

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have developed a new method for parallel protein analysis that is, in principle, capable of identifying hundreds or even thousands of different proteins. It could be used to detect the presence of viruses and identify their type in tiny samples. At the same time, it is very cost-effective and quick.


When proteins dock with the specifically functionalized nano-particles, the sensor elements change color.
source: Institute of Physical Chemistry, JGU

"We see possible applications of this technique in medicine, where it could be used, for example, for the rapid diagnosis of a wide range of diseases. It would be almost as easy to use as a pregnancy test strip," said Professor Carsten Sönnichsen of the Institute of Physical Chemistry.

The test involves placing a tiny drop of blood, saliva, or other bodily fluid on a small test strip, which is then placed in a device developed at the JGU Institute of Physical Chemistry. This device is able to identify the specific proteins in the fluid and thus allows to quickly and reliably differentiate between harmless microorganisms and dangerous pathogens.

In order to detect the many different substances present in a small sample, the sensors need to be as tiny as possible, preferably the size of nano-particles. Sönnichsen's team of scientists have designed a sensor no larger than the head of a pin but capable of performing a hundred different individual tests on a surface that is only of one-tenth of a square millimeter in area. The 'test strips' consist of glass capillary tubes that have gold nano-particles as sensor elements on their internal surfaces.

"We first prepare our nano-particles using short DNA strands, each of which binds to a specific type of protein," explained Janak Prasad, who developed the functionalization method. When a protein docks with one of these special DNA strands, called aptamers, the corresponding nano-particle changes its color. The color changes can be detected with the aid of a spectrometer. For this purpose, the capillary tubes are placed under a microscope designed, constructed, and provided with the necessary software by the Mainz-based team of chemists.

"We demonstrate a new approach for a multiplexed assay that detects multiple proteins simultaneously by letting a fluid flow past the randomly positioned gold nano-rods," explained Christina Rosman, first author of the study. The team from JGU's Institute of Physical Chemistry used four different target proteins to demonstrate the viability of the new concept, its ability to detect concentrations in the nanomolar range, and the possibility to recycle the sensors for more than one analysis.

"We see the potential to extend our method to the simultaneous detection of hundreds or even thousands of different target substances," assert the authors in their article published in the June 2013 issue of the journal Nano Letters. Low-cost serial production of the sensors is feasible if advanced nano-fabrication methods such as nano-printing or optical trapping are used.

There are manifold possible applications of a test for multiple targets in a single procedure. The low-cost sensors could be directly used by physicians in their practices in order to detect and discriminate various types of flu viruses with which their patients could be infected. In addition, the technique would also be suitable for detecting the presence of toxins in the environment or in food, particularly in liquids such as milk or baby food, or the presence of doping or other illicit drugs.

Support for the research on this novel multiplexed protein sensor was provided by the Graduate School of Excellence 'Materials Science in Mainz' (MAINZ) and the European Research Council (ERC) 'Single Sense' project.

Publication:
Christina Rosman et al.
Multiplexed Plasmon Sensor for Rapid Label-free Analyte Detection
Nano Letters, 21 June 2013
DOI: 10.1021/nl401354f
Further information:
Professor Dr. Carsten Sönnichsen
Institute of Physical Chemistry
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-20639 or +49 6131 39-24313
fax +49 6131 39-26747
e-mail: carsten.soennichsen@uni-mainz.de
http://www.nano-bio-tech.de/
Weitere Informationen:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/16589_ENG_HTML.php - press release ;
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl401354f - Article in Nano Letters

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/

Further reports about: CHEMISTRY DNA DNA strand JGU Letters Nano Physical chemists specific protein

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>