Gold and ultrasound burst improves sensitivity in antibody microarray analysis ten thousand fold
Antibody microarrays are powerful tools for simultaneous detection of hundreds or thousands of blood-borne protein biomarkers at once, potentially allowing accurate fingerprinting and improved diagnostics of complex pathophysiological states such as cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and autoimmune conditions. However, to enable sensitivity needed to detect low abundant protein biomarkers such as cytokines and tissue leakage proteins, a mix of detection antibodies needs to be used, which has proven notoriously difficult due to antibody-antibody cross-reactivity. Consequently, to unlock the great potential clinical utility of antibody microarrays, there is a need for techniques mitigating the cross-reactivity problem.
In a paper recently published in Nanoscale, Helene Andersson Svahn KTH Royal Institute of Technology/SciLifeLab and co-workers demonstrate that by immobilizing detection antibodies on gold nanoparticles and exposing the detection mix to a brief ultrasonic burst prior to running a 3-multiplexed (Troponin-T, EGF, IL-2) antibody microarray detection assay, cross-reactivity could be minimized and sensitivity improved ten thousand fold, enabling detection of low pg/ml of analyte and colorimetric read-out. Future work will include higher multiplexing and application in clinical settings.