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New generation of electrochemical immunoassay based on polymeric nanoparticles for early detection of breast cancer

Authors Mouffouk F, Aouabdi S, Al-Hetlani E, Serrai H, Alrefae T, Leo Chen L

Received 8 November 2016

Accepted for publication 20 January 2017

Published 13 April 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 3037—3047


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster

Fouzi Mouffouk,1 Sihem Aouabdi,2 Entesar Al-Hetlani,1 Hacene Serrai,3 Tareq Alrefae,4 Liaohai Leo Chen5

1Department of Chemistry, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait; 2King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital of Gent (UZG), Gent, Belgium; 4Department of Physics, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait; 5Surgical Precision Research Lab. Department of Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: Screening and early diagnosis are the key factors for the reduction of mortality rate and treatment cost of cancer. Therefore, sensitive and selective methods that can reveal the low abundance of cancer biomarkers in a biological sample are always desired. Here, we report the development of a novel electrochemical biosensor for early detection of breast cancer by using bioconjugated self-assembled pH-responsive polymeric micelles. The micelles were loaded with ferrocene molecules as “tracers” to specifically target cell surface-associated epithelial mucin (MUC1), a biomarker for breast and other solid carcinoma. The synthesis of target-specific, ferrocene-loaded polymeric micelles was confirmed, and the resulting sensor was capable of detecting the presence of MUC1 in a sample containing about 10 cells/mL. Such a high sensitivity was achieved by maximizing the loading capacity of ferrocene inside the polymeric micelles. Every single event of binding between the antibody and antigen was represented by the signal of hundreds of thousands of ferrocene molecules that were released from the polymeric micelles. This resulted in a significant increase in the intensity of the ferrocene signal detected by cyclic voltammetry.

Keywords: electrochemical immunoassay, polymeric nanoparticles, breast cancer biomarkers, biosensors

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