Designed protein binders in combination with nanocrystalline diamond for use in high-sensitivity biosensors

Karin Fromell*, Pontus Forsberg, Mikael Karlsson, Karin Larsson, Fredrik Nikolajeff, Lars Baltzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A platform for diagnostic applications showing signal-to-noise ratios that by far surpass those of traditional bioanalytical test formats has been developed. It combines the properties of modified nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) surfaces and those of polyethylene oxide and polypropylene oxide based block copolymers for surface passivation and binder conjugation with a new class of synthetic binders for proteins. The NCD surfaces were fluorine-, hydrogen-, or oxygenterminated prior to further biofunctionalization and the surface composition was characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. In a proof of principle demonstration targeting the C-reactive protein, an ELISA carried out using an Fterminated diamond surface showed a signal-to-noise ratio of 3,900 which compares well to the signal-to-noise of 89 obtained in an antibody-based ELISA on a polystyrene microtiter plate, a standard test format used in most life science laboratories today. The increase in signal-to-noise ratio is to a large extent the result of extremely efficient passivation of the diamond surface. The results suggest that significant improvements can be obtained in standardized test formats using new materials in combination with new types of chemical coatings and receptor molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1643-1651
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical and bioanalytical chemistry
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosensor
  • CRP
  • Nanocrystalline diamond
  • Protein binders
  • Surface characterization


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