This paper describes an aptamer-based optomagnetic biosensor for detection of a small molecule based on target binding-induced inhibition of magnetic nanoparticle (MNP) clustering. For the detection of a target small molecule, two mutually exclusive binding reactions (aptamer-target binding and aptamer-DNA linker hybridization) are designed. An aptamer specific to the target and a DNA linker complementary to a part of the aptamer sequence are immobilized onto separate MNPs. Hybridization of the DNA linker and the aptamer induces formation of MNP clusters. The target-to-aptamer binding on MNPs prior to the addition of linker-functionalized MNPs significantly hinders the hybridization reaction, thus reducing the degree of MNP clustering. The clustering state, which is thus related to the target concentration, is then quantitatively determined by an optomagnetic readout technique that provides the hydrodynamic size distribution of MNPs and their clusters. A commercial Blu-ray optical pickup unit is used for optical signal acquisition, which enables the establishment of a low-cost and miniaturized biosensing platform. Experimental results show that the degree of MNP clustering correlates well with the concentration of a target small molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in this work, in the range between 10. μM and 10. mM. This successful proof-of-concept indicates that our optomagnetic aptasensor can be further developed as a low-cost biosensing platform for detection of small molecule biomarkers in an out-of-lab setting.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering