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Gold nanoparticle-based colorimetric method for the detection of prostate-specific antigen

Authors Xia N, Deng D, Wang Y, Fang C, Li S

Received 13 October 2017

Accepted for publication 24 January 2018

Published 24 April 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2521—2530


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Ning Xia,1 Dehua Deng,1,2 Yiru Wang,1 Chao Fang,3 Su-Juan Li1

1Henan Province of Key Laboratory of New Optoelectronic Functional Materials, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Anyang Normal University, Anyang, Henan, People’s Republic of China; 2College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan, People’s Republic of China; 3School of Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University Malaysia, Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia

Background: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a serine protease, is a biomarker for preoperative diagnosis and screening of prostate cancer and monitoring of its posttreatment.
In this work, we reported a colorimetric method for clinical detection of PSA using gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as the reporters. The method is based on ascorbic acid (AA)-induced in situ formation of AuNPs and Cu2+-catalyzed oxidation of AA. Specifically, HAuCl4 can be reduced into AuNPs by AA; Cu2+ ion can catalyze the oxidation of AA by O2 to inhibit the formation of AuNPs. In the presence of the PSA-specific peptide (DAHSSKLQLAPP)-modified gold-coated magnetic microbeads (MMBs; denoted as DAHSSKLQLAPP-MMBs), complexation of Cu2+ by the MMBs through the DAH–Cu2+ interaction depressed the catalyzed oxidation of AA and thus allowed for the formation of red AuNPs. However, once the peptide immobilized on the MMB surface was cleaved by PSA, the DAHSSKLQ segment would be released. The resultant LAPP fragment remaining on the MMB surface could not sequestrate Cu2+ to depress its catalytic activity toward AA oxidation. Consequently, no or less AuNPs were generated.
Results: The linear range for PSA detection was found to be 0~0.8 ng/mL with a detection limit of 0.02 ng/mL. Because of the separation of cleavage step and measurement step, the interference of matrix components in biological samples was avoided.
Conclusion: The high extinction coefficient of AuNPs facilitates the colorimetric analysis of PSA in serum samples. This work is helpful for designing of other protease biosensors by matching specific peptide substrates.

colorimetric assay, gold nanoparticles, prostate-specific antigen, ascorbic acid, Cu2+ ion

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