Silver and gold nanoparticle coated membranes applied to protein dot blots

F. Xie, K. Drozdowicz-Tomsia, T. Shtoyko, E. M. Goldys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Detection and identification of low abundance biomarker proteins is frequently based on various types of membrane-based devices. Lowering of the protein detection limits is vital in commercial applications such as lateral flow assays and in Western blots widely used in proteomics. These currently suffer from insufficient detection sensitivity and low retention for small 2-5 kDa proteins. In this study, we report the deposition of two types of metal nanoparticles: gold colloids (50-95 nm diameter) and silver fractals onto a range of commonly used types of membranes including polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). Due to strong affinity of proteins to noble metals, such modified membranes have the potential to effectively capture trace proteins preventing their loss. The membranes modified by metal particles were characterized optically and by SEM. The membrane performance in protein dot blots was evaluated using the protein - fluorophore conjugates Deep Purple-bovine serum albumin and fluorescein - human serum albumin. We found that the metal nanoparticles increase light extinction by metals, which is balanced by increased fluorescence, so that the effective fluorescence signal is unchanged. This feature combined with the capture of proteins by the nanoparticles embedded in the membrane increases the detection limit of membrane assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-624
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


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