"Building upon our earlier work with lead (Pb) sensors, we constructed colorimetric sensors that are based on the lateral flow separation of aptamer-linked nanostructures," said Yi Lu, a chemistry professor at the U. of I., and a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
"The new sensors offer a quick and convenient test that can be utilized by first responders or emergency room staff to quickly screen individuals for a variety of drugs and other chemicals." Lu said.
Aptamers are single-stranded nucleic acids that can bind to specific molecules in three-dimensions. For each molecular target, such as cocaine, a corresponding aptamer can be selected from a large DNA library.
By using lateral flow devices as platforms to separate aptamer-linked nanoparticle aggregates, Lu, postdoctoral researcher Juewen Liu and graduate student Debapriya Mazumdar created highly sensitive and selective colorimetric sensors that mimic litmus paper tests. The researchers describe their work in a paper accepted for publication in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, and posted on its Web site.
"Our lateral flow devices take advantage of the difference in size between dispersed and aggregated gold nanostructures," Lu said. "This provides critical control for the performance of the devices."
The lateral flow device consists of four overlapping pads – wicking, conjugation, membrane and absorption. The appropriate aptamer-linked nanoparticle aggregates are placed on the conjugation pad, streptavidin is applied as a thin line to the membrane pad, and the device is then dried.
When dipped into a solution, or swabbed with a sample, the wicking pad carries the fluid to the nanoparticle aggregates on the conjugation pad. The rehydrated aggregates then migrate to the edge of the membrane, which they cannot penetrate because of their large size.
The aptamers quickly bind to any targeted molecules that are present, freeing some of the gold nanoparticles. The red-colored nanoparticles then migrate along the membrane, where they are captured by the streptavidin and form a red line. The intensity of the line is an indicator of how much of the targeted molecule was in the sample solution.
So far, the researchers have successfully demonstrated their dipstick technology on both adenosine (a nucleotide consisting of adenine and ribose) and cocaine, in human blood serum.
"Our results show that the aptamer-based dipstick is compatible with biological samples, making applications in medicinal diagnostics possible," Lu said.
James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
Cnidarians remotely control bacteria
21.09.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Immune cells may heal bleeding brain after strokes
21.09.2017 | NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2017 | Life Sciences
21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine