Detection of cortisol at a gold nanoparticleProtein G-DTBP-scaffold modified electrochemical immunosensor

Xiaoqiang Liu, Ruoxia Zhao, Wenling Mao, Heqing Feng, Xiuhua Liu, Danny K Y Wong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    An ultrasensitive electrochemical immmunosensor was demonstrated to be capable of detecting the hormone cortisol down to concentrations as low as 16 pg mL-1. In addition, the immunosensor displayed a sensitivity of 1.6 μA pg-1 mL-1 and a linear range up to ∼2500 pg mL-1 of cortisol. This immunosensor was constructed based on a Au nanoparticledimethyl 3,3′-dithiobispropionimidate·2HCl (DTBP)-Protein G scaffold-modified Au electrode. In this work, the Au nanoparticles were used to increase the electrochemically active surface area by 28% (with a standard deviation of 3%) to enhance the quantity of the Protein G scaffold on the electrode. Thiolation of Protein G by DTBP aided in avoiding the confirmation change of Protein G, while this Protein G-DTBP component offered an orientation-controlled immobilisation of the capture antibody on the Au electrode. In this immunosensor, a monoclonal anti-cortisol capture antibody was optimally aligned by the scaffold before a competitive immunoassay between sample cortisol and a horseradish peroxidase-labelled cortisol conjugate was conducted. For quantitative analysis, square wave voltammetry was used to monitor the reduction current of benzoquinone produced from a horseradish peroxidase catalysed reaction. The improved analytical performance of our immunosensor was attributed to the synergetic effect of Au nanoparticles and the Protein G-DTBP scaffold.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5204-5210
    Number of pages7
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2011


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