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Calorimetric lateral flow immunoassay detection platform based on the photothermal effect of gold nanocages with high sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy

Authors Hu X, Wan J, Peng X, Zhao H, Shi D, Mai L, Yang H, Zhao Y, Yang X

Received 9 June 2019

Accepted for publication 30 August 2019

Published 20 September 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 7695—7705

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S218834

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Alexander Kharlamov

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun


Xiaoyan Hu,1 Jiangshan Wan,2,3 Xiaole Peng,2,3 Hao Zhao,1,3 Dingwen Shi,1,3 Liyi Mai,2 Hai Yang,1 Yanbing Zhao,1,3 Xiangliang Yang1

1National Engineering Research Center for Nanomedicine, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, People’s Republic of China; 2Institute of Consun Co. For Chinese Medicine in Kidney Diseases, C. Consum Pharmaceutical Group, Shenzhen 518000, People’s Republic of China; 3Shenzhen Institute of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518057, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Hai Yang
National Engineering Research Center for Nanomedicine, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, People’s Republic of China
Email yanghai@hust.edu.cn

Yanbing Zhao
National Engineering Research Center for Nanomedicine, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, People’s Republic of China
Email zhaoyb@hust.edu.cn

Background: Lateral flow assays (LFA) play an increasingly important role in the rapid detection of various pathogens, pollutants, and toxins.
Purpose: To overcome the drawbacks of low sensitivity and poor quantification in LFA, we developed a new calorimetric LFA (CLFA) using gold nanocages (GNCs) due to their high photothermal conversion efficiency, good stability of photophysical properties, and stronger penetrating ability of NIR light.
Methods: Thiol-polyethylene glycol-succinyl imide ester (HS-PEG-NHS) was modified onto GNCs, and the complex was conjugated with an antibody. Subsequently, the antibody-conjugated GNCs were analyzed by UV/Vis spectrophotometer, transmission electron microscope, high-resolution transmission electron microscope with energy dispersive spectrometer, dynamic light scattering instrument, and Atom force microscope. The GNC-based CLFA of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and zearalenone (ZEN), a food toxin, required nitrocellulose strips, a NIR laser source, and an infrared camera.
Results: The GNC-labeled CLFA platform technique exhibited detection sensitivity, qualitative specificity, and quantitative accuracy. The superior performance of the technique was evident both in sandwich format detection of biomacromolecules (eg, AFP protein) or competitive format detection of small molecules (eg, ZEN). After optimizing various test parameters, GNC-labeled CLFA provided ca. 5-6-fold enhanced sensitivity, higher correlativity (R2>0.99), and more favorable recovery (82–115%) when compared with visual LFA.
Conclusion: GNC-labeled CLFA may be a promising detection platform with high sensitivity, specificity, and precision.

Keywords: lateral flow assays, LFA, gold nanocages, photothermal effect, alpha-fetoprotein, AFP, zearalenone, ZEN

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