The development of a microneedle-based biosensor array for multiplexed in situ detection of exercise-induced metabolic acidosis, tumor microenvironment, and other variations in tissue chemistry is described. Simultaneous and selective amperometric detection of pH, glucose, and lactate over a range of physiologically-relevant concentrations in complex media is demonstrated. Furthermore, materials modified with a cell-resistant (Lipidure®) coating were shown to inhibit macrophage adhesion; no signs of coating delamination were noted over a 48-hour period.
microneedle biosensor; microneedle; multiplexed detection; tumor microenvironment; carbon paste
New template-based self-propelled gold/nickel/polyaniline/platinum (Au/Ni/PANI/Pt) microtubular engines, functionalized with the Concanavalin A (ConA) lectin bioreceptor, are shown to be extremely useful for the rapid, real-time isolation of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria from fuel-enhanced environmental, food and clinical samples. These multifunctional microtube engines combine the selective capture of E. coli with the uptake of polymeric drug-carrier particles to provide an attractive motion-based theranostics strategy. Triggered release of the captured bacteria is demonstrated by movement through a low-pH glycine-based dissociation solution. The smaller size of the new polymer-metal microengines offers convenient, direct and label-free optical visualization of the captured bacteria and discrimination against non-target cells.
Nanomachines; microengines; lectin; E. coli isolation; theranostics; drug delivery; biodetection; complex samples
The blood–spinal cord barrier (BSCB) regulates molecular exchange between blood and spinal cord. Pericytes are presumed to be important cellular constituents of the BSCB. However, the regional abundance and vascular functions of spinal cord pericytes have yet to be determined. Utilizing wild-type mice, we show that spinal cord pericyte capillary coverage and number compared with the brain regions are reduced most prominently in the anterior horn. Regional pericyte variations are highly correlated with: (1) increased capillary permeability to 350 Da, 40,000 Da, and 150,000 Da, but not 2,000,000 Da fluorescent vascular tracers in cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions and (2) diminished endothelial zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and occludin tight junction protein expression. Pericyte-deficient mutations (PdgfrβF7/F7 mice) resulted in additional pericyte reductions in spinal cord capillaries leading to overt BSCB disruption to serum proteins, accumulation in motor neurons of cyotoxic thrombin and fibrin and motor neuron loss. Barrier disruption in perciyte-deficient mice coincided with further reductions in ZO-1 and occludin. These data suggest that pericytes contribute to proper function of the BSCB at the capillary level. Regional reductions in spinal cord pericytes may provide a cellular basis for heightened spinal cord barrier capillary permeability and motor neuron loss.
blood–brain barrier; capillaries; endothelium; pericytes; vascular biology
The Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) double-stranded DNA genome is reverse transcribed from its RNA pregenome (pgRNA) within the virus core (or capsid). Phosphorylation of the arginine-rich carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of the HBV capsid protein (Cp183) is essential for pgRNA encapsidation and reverse transcription. However, the structure of the CTD remains poorly defined. Here we report sub-nanometer resolution cryo-EM structures of in vitro assembled empty and pgRNA-filled Cp183 capsids in unphosphorylated and phosphorylation-mimic states. In empty capsids, we found unexpected evidence of surface accessible CTD density partially occluding pores in the capsid surface. We also observed that CTD organization changed substantively as a function of phosphorylation. In RNA-filled capsids, unphosphorylated CTDs favored thick ropes of RNA, while the phosphorylation-mimic favored a mesh of thin, high-density strands suggestive of single stranded RNA. These results demonstrate that the CTD can regulate nucleic acid structure, supporting the hypothesis that the HBV capsid has a functional role as a nucleic acid chaperone.
Many single stranded RNA virus encapsidate their genome through positively-charged domains of their capsid proteins. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a double stranded DNA virus which packages a single-stranded RNA pregenome (pgRNA) that is reverse transcribed within the capsid. RNA packaging requires a phosphorylated form of the HBV capsid protein's RNA-binding carboxy-terminal domain (CTD). Although the capsid has been well studied, the internal structures, the CTDs and the packaged RNA, are poorly characterized. By using in vitro reassembly, we have generated empty and pgRNA-filled capsids using phosphorylation-mimic and unphosphorylated forms of the capsid protein. Using cryo-EM image reconstruction, we have been able to show the structure of encapsidated pgRNA and, independently, the CTD in the absence of RNA to visualize early stages of the HBV assembly. We showed that the structural organization of the CTD changes as a function of the phosphorylation. Changes in CTD structure affect the structure of the encapsidated pgRNA, changing it from thin segments of density in the phosphorylated state, suggestive of single-stranded RNA, to thick rope-like structures consistent with duplex nucleic acid in the unphosphorylated state.
Sensory and motor dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS) is often assessed with rating scales which rely heavily on clinical judgment. Quantitative devices may be more precise than rating scales.
To quantify lower extremity sensorimotor measures in individuals with MS, evaluate the extent to which they can detect functional systems impairments, and determine their relationship to global disability measures.
We tested 145 MS subjects and 58 controls. Vibration thresholds were quantified using a Vibratron-II device. Strength was quantified by a hand-held dynamometer. We also recorded Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and timed 25-foot walk (T25FW). T-tests and Wilcoxon-rank sum were used to compare group data. Spearman correlations were used to assess relationships between each measure. We also used a step-wise linear regression model to determine how much the quantitative measures explain the variance in the respective functional systems scores (FSS).
EDSS scores ranged from 0-7.5, mean disease duration was 10.4±9.6 years, and 66% were female. In RRMS, but not progressive MS, poorer vibration sensation correlated with a worse EDSS score, whereas progressive groups’ ankle/hip strength changed significantly with EDSS progression. Interestingly, not only did sensorimotor measures significantly correlate with global disability measures (EDSS), but they had improved sensitivity, as they detected impairments in up to 32% of MS subjects with normal sensory FSS.
Sensory and motor deficits can be quantified using clinically accessible tools and distinguish differences among MS subtypes. We show that quantitative sensorimotor measures are more sensitive than FSS from the EDSS. These tools have the potential to be used as clinical outcome measures in practice and for future MS clinical trials of neurorehabilitative and neuroreparative interventions.
multiple sclerosis; demyelinating disease; outcome measures; neurological disability; rehabilitation
Detection of specific DNA sequences in clinical samples is a key goal of studies on DNA biosensors and gene chips. Herein we present a highly sensitive electrochemical genosensor for direct measurements of specific DNA sequences in undiluted and untreated human serum and urine samples. Such genosensing relies on a new ternary interface involving hexanedithiol (HDT) co-immobilized with the thiolated capture probe (SHCP) on gold surfaces, followed by the incorporation of 6-mercapto-1-hexanol (MCH) as diluent. The performance of ternary monolayers prepared with linear dithiols of different lengths was systematically examined, compared and characterized by cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, with HDT exhibiting the most favorable analytical performance. The new SHCP/HDT+MCH monolayer led to a 80-fold improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) for 1 nM target DNA in undiluted human serum over the common SHCP/MCH binary alkanethiol interface, and allowed the direct quantification of the target DNA down to 7 pM (28 amol) and 17 pM (68 amol) in undiluted/untreated serum and urine, respectively. It also displayed attractive antifouling properties, as indicated from the favorable S/N obtained after a prolonged exposure (24 h) to untreated biological matrices. These attractive features of the SHCP/HDT+MCH sensor interface indicate considerable promise for a wide range of clinical applications.
Dithiols; self-assembled monolayer; clinical samples; electrochemical detection; hybridization; DNA
A rapid and highly sensitive miniaturized amperometric biosensor for the detection α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) based on a carbon fiber electrode (CFE) is presented. The biosensor is constructed by immobilizing the enzyme, glutamate dehydrogenase (GLUD) on the surface of single carbon fiber modified by co-deposition of ruthenium (Ru) and rhodium (Rh) nanoparticles. SEM and EDX shed useful insights into the morphology and composition of the modified microelectrode. The mixed Ru/Rh coating offers a greatly enhanced electrocatalytic activity towards the detection of β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), with a substantial decrease in overpotential of ~400 mV compared to the unmodified CFE. It also imparts higher stability with minimal surface fouling, common to NADH oxidation. Further modification with the enzyme, GLUD leads to effective amperometric biosensing of α-KG through monitoring of the NADH consumption. A very rapid response to dynamic changes in the α-KG concentrations is observed with a response time of 6s. The current response is linear between 100 and 600 μM with a sensitivity of 42 μA M−1 and a detection limit of 20 μM. This proof of concept study indicates that the GLUD-Ru/Rh-CFE biosensor holds great promise for real-time electrochemical measurements of α-KG.
Amperometric biosensor; α-Ketoglutarate; NADH; Ru; Rh; Carbon fiber electrode
A ternary surface monolayer, consisting of co-assembled thiolated capture probe (SHCP) mercaptohexanol (MCH) and dithiothreitol (DTT), is shown to offer dramatic improvements in the signal-to-noise characteristics of electrochemical DNA hybridization biosensors based on common self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). Remarkably low detection limits down to 40 zmole (in 4 μL samples) as well as only 1 CFU E. coli per sensor are thus obtained without any additional amplification step in connection to the commonly used horseradish peroxidase/3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (HRP/TMB) system. Such dramatic improvements in the detection limits (compared to common binary alkanethiol interfaces and to most electrochemical DNA sensing strategies without target or signal amplification) are attributed primarily to the remarkably higher resistance to non-specific adsorption. This reflects the highly compact layer (with lower pinhole density) produced by the coupling of the cyclic- and linear-configuration ‘backfillers’ that leads to a remarkably low background noise even in the presence of complex sample matrices. A wide range of surface compositions have been investigated and the ternary mixed monolayer has been systematically optimized. Detailed impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetric studies shed useful insights into the surface coverage. The impressive sensitivity and high specificity of the simple developed methodology indicate great promise for a wide range of nucleic acid testing, including clinical diagnostics, biothreat detection, food safety and forensic analysis.
An electrochemical genosensor in which signal amplification is achieved using p-aminophenol (p-AP) redox cycling by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is presented. An immobilized thiolated capture probe is combined with a sandwich-type hybridization assay, using biotin as a tracer in the detection probe, and streptavidin-alkaline phosphatase as reporter enzyme. The phosphatase liberates the electrochemical mediator p-AP from its electrically inactive phosphate derivative. This generated p-AP is electrooxidized at an Au electrode modified self-assembled monolayer to p-quinone imine (p-QI). In the presence of NADH, p-QI is reduced back to p-AP, which can be re-oxidized on the electrode and produce amplified signal. A detection limit of 1 pM DNA target is offered by this simple one-electrode, one-enzyme format redox cycling strategy. The redox cycling design is applied successfully to the monitoring of the 16S rRNA of E. coli pathogenic bacteria, and provides a detection limit of 250 CFU μL−1.
Electrochemistry; Genosensor; Amplification; Redox cycling; Escherichia coli
The C-terminal domain (CTD) of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) core protein is involved in regulating multiple stages of the HBV lifecycle. CTD phosphorylation correlates with pregenomic-RNA encapsidation during capsid assembly, reverse transcription, and viral transport, although the mechanisms remain unknown. In vitro, purified HBV core protein (Cp183) binds any RNA and assembles aggressively, independent of phosphorylation, to form empty and RNA-filled capsids. We hypothesize that there must be a chaperone that binds the CTD to prevent self-assembly and nonspecific RNA packaging. Here, we show that HBV capsid assembly is stalled by the Serine Arginine protein kinase (SRPK) binding to the CTD, and reactivated by subsequent phosphorylation. Using the SRPK to probe capsids, solution and structural studies showed that SRPK bound to capsid, though the CTD is sequestered on the capsid interior. This result indicates transient CTD externalization and suggests that capsid dynamics could be crucial for directing HBV intracellular trafficking. Our studies illustrate the stochastic nature of virus capsids and demonstrate the appropriation of a host protein by a virus for a non-canonical function.
A virus particle is a molecular machine that has evolved to self-assemble within the confines of a living cell. For hepatitis B virus (HBV), outside of a cell, the self-assembly process is very aggressive and consequently not specific for viral RNA. Here we show that HBV takes advantage of a host protein, SRPK, which acts like a molecular chaperone, to prevent the HBV core protein from binding RNA and to prevent the core protein from assembling at the wrong time and place. At the right time, SRPK can be removed in a regulated reaction to allow assembly. Once a virus is assembled, it must traffic to the right intracellular locale. Using SRPK, we show that HBV cores can transiently expose a segment of protein, normally inside the virus, that carries a signal for transport to the host nucleus. This is the first example we know of where a virus repurposes an enzyme for an alternative function. This sort of interplay between virus and host, where the virus hijacks and repurposes host proteins, is likely to be a common feature of viral infection.
We present an ultrasensitive aptasensor for electronic monitoring of proteins through a dual amplified strategy in this paper. The target protein thrombin is sandwiched between an electrode surface confined aptamer and an aptamer-enzyme-carbon nanotube bioconjugate. The analytical signal amplification is achieved by coupling the signal amplification nature of multiple enzymes with the biocatalytic signal enhancement of redox-recycling. Our novel dramatic signal amplification strategy, with a detection limit of 8.3 fM, shows about 4 orders of magnitude improvement in sensitivity for thrombin detection compared to other universal single enzyme-based assay. This makes our approach an attractive alternative to other common PCR-based signal amplification in ultralow level of protein detection.
amplification; aptamers; bi-enzyme; biosensors; proteins; ultrasensitive detection
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a human pathogen that causes acute hepatitis. When an HEV capsid protein containing a 52-amino-acid deletion at the C terminus and a 111-amino-acid deletion at the N terminus is expressed in insect cells, the recombinant HEV capsid protein can self-assemble into a T=1 virus-like particle (VLP) that retains the antigenicity of the native HEV virion. In this study, we used cryoelectron microscopy and image reconstruction to show that anti-HEV monoclonal antibodies bind to the protruding domain of the capsid protein at the lateral side of the spikes. Molecular docking of the HEV VLP crystal structure revealed that Fab224 covered three surface loops of the recombinant truncated second open reading frame (ORF2) protein (PORF2) at the top part of the spike. We also determined the structure of a chimeric HEV VLP and located the inserted B-cell tag, an epitope of 11 amino acids coupled to the C-terminal end of the recombinant ORF2 protein. The binding site of Fab224 appeared to be distinct from the location of the inserted B-cell tag, suggesting that the chimeric VLP could elicit immunity against both HEV and an inserted foreign epitope. Therefore, the T=1 HEV VLP is a novel delivery system for displaying foreign epitopes at the VLP surface in order to induce antibodies against both HEV and the inserted epitope.
Reproducible electrochemically encoded quantum dot (QD) barcodes were prepared by using the reverse-micelle synthetic approach. The encoding elements, Zn2+, Cd2+, Pb2+ were confined within a single QD, which eliminates the cumbersome encapsulation process used by other common nanoparticle-based barcode preparation schemes. The distinct voltammetric stripping patterns of Zn2+, Cd2+, Pb2+ at distinguishable potentials with controllable current intensities offer excellent encoding capability for the prepared electrochemical (EC) QDs. Additionally, the simultaneous modification of the QD barcode surface with organic ligands during the preparation process make them potentially useful in biomedical research. For proof of concept of their application in bioassays, the EC QD barcodes were further employed as tags for an immunoassay of a cancer marker, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). The voltammetric stripping response of the dissolved bardcode tags was proportional to log[CEA] in the range from 0.01 ng mL−1 to 80 ng mL−1, with a detection limit of 3.3 pg mL−1. The synthesized EC QD barcodes hold considerable potentials in biodetection, encrypted information and product tracking.
Here we report on a highly sensitive potentiometric detection of DNA hybridization. The new assay uses a low-volume solid-contact silver ion-selective electrode (Ag+-ISE) to monitor the depletion of silver ions induced by the biocatalytic reaction of the alkaline-phosphatase enzyme tag. The resultant potential change of the Ag+-ISE thus serves as the hybridization signal. Factors affecting the potentiometric hybridization response have been optimized to offer a detection limit of 50 fM (0.2 amol) DNA target. The new potentiometric assay was applied successfully to the monitoring of the 16S rRNA of E. coli pathogenic bacteria to achieve a low detection limit of 10 CFU in the 4 μL sample. Such potentiometric transduction of biocatalytically-induced metallization processess holds great promise for monitoring various bioaffinity assays involving common enzyme tags.
The concept of locally heated polymeric membrane potentiometric sensors is introduced here for the first time. This is accomplished in an all solid state sensor configuration, utilizing poly(3-octylthiophene) as intermediate layer between the ion-selective membrane and underlying substrate that integrates the heating circuitry. Temperature pulse potentiometry (TPP) gives convenient peak-shaped analytical signals and affords an additional dimension with these sensors. Numerous advances are envisioned that will benefit the field. The heating step is shown to give an increase in the slope of the copper-selective electrode from 31 mV to 43 mV per 10-fold activity change, with a reproducibility of the heated potential pulses of 1% at 10 µM copper levels and a potential drift of 0.2 mV/h. Importantly, the magnitude of the potential pulse upon heating the electrode changes as a function of the copper activity, suggesting an attractive way for differential measurement of these devices. The heat pulse is also shown to decrease the detection limit by half an order of magnitude.
Potentiometry; Heated electrodes; Ion-selective electrodes; Temperature pulse
We demonstrate here that the electrode kinetics of an electrochemical detector contributes greatly to the resolution of the analyte bands in microchip electrophoresis systems with amperometric detection. The separation performance in terms of resolution and theoretical plate number can be improved and tailored by selecting or modifying the working electrode and/or by controlling the detection potential. Such improvements in the separation performance reflect the influence of the heterogeneous electron transfer rate of electroactive analytes upon the post-channel band broadening, as illustrated for catechol and hydrazine compounds. The electrode kinetics thus has a profound effect not only upon the sensitivity of electrochemical detectors but upon the separation efficiency and the overall performance of microchip-electrochemistry systems.
electron transfer; resolution; surface modification; amperometry; microfluidics
This Communication demonstrates the ability of potentiometric ion-selective electrodes (ISE) to probe the growth dynamics of metal nanoparticles in real-time. The new monitoring capability is illustrated using a solid-contact silver ISE for monitoring the hydroquinone-induced precipitation of silver on gold nanoparticle seeds. Potential-time recordings obtained under different conditions are used to monitor the depletion of the silver ion during the nanoparticle formation and shed useful insights into the growth dynamics of the nanoparticles. Such potentiometric profiles correlate well with the analogous optical measurements. The new real-time electrochemical probing of the particle growth process reflects the direct, rapid and sensitive response of modern ISE to changes in the level of the precipitated metal ion from the bulk solution and holds considerable promise for probing the preparation of different nanoscale materials.
Nanoparticles; Growth; Ion-selective electrodes; Potentiometry; Silver; Hydroquinone
A motion-based chemical sensing involving fuel-driven nanomotors is demonstrated. The new protocol relies on the use of an optical microscope for tracking changes in the speed of nanowire motors in the presence of the target analyte. Selective and sensitive measurements of trace silver ions are illustrated based on the dramatic and specific acceleration of bimetal nanowire motors in the presence of silver. Such nanomotor-based measurements would lead to a wide range of novel and powerful chemical and biological sensing protocols.
We illustrate how the use of heated electrodes enhances the performance of glucose biosensors based on amperometric detection of the glucose-oxidase generated hydrogen peroxide. Nafion is shown to be an excellent matrix to protect glucose oxidase from thermal inactivation during the heating pulses. The influence of the electrode temperature upon the amperometric response is examined. Temperature pulse amperometry (TPA) has been used to obtain convenient peak-shaped analytical signals. Surprisingly, up to 67.5 °C, the activity of Nafion-entrapped glucose oxidase is greatly enhanced (24 -fold) by accelerated kinetics rather than decreased by thermal inactivation. Amperometric signals even at elevated temperatures are stable upon prolonged operation involving repetitive measurements. The linear calibration range is significantly extended.
Glucose; Hot-wire electrochemistry; Temperature pulse amperometry (TPA); Nafion; Glucose oxidase
Thiol-rich peptides and proteins possess a large number of biological activities and may serve as markers for numerous health problems including cancer. Metallothionein (MT), a small molecular mass protein rich in cysteine, may be considered as one of the promising tumour markers. The aim of this paper was to employ chronopotentiometric stripping analysis (CPSA) for highly sensitive detection of MT.
In this study, we used adsorptive transfer stripping technique coupled with CPSA for detection of cysteine, glutathione oxidized and reduced, phytochelatin, bovine serum albumin, and metallothionein. Under the optimal conditions, we were able to estimate detection limits down to tens of fg per ml. Further, this method was applied to detect metallothioneins in blood serum obtained from patients with breast cancer and in neuroblastoma cells resistant and sensitive to cisplatin in order to show the possible role of metallothioneins in carcinogenesis. It was found that MT level in blood serum was almost twice higher as compared to the level determined in healthy individuals.
This paper brings unique results on the application of ultra-sensitive electroanalytical method for metallothionein detection. The detection limit and other analytical parameters are the best among the parameters of other techniques. In spite of the fact that the paper is mainly focused on metallothionein, it is worth mentioning that successful detection of other biologically important molecules is possible by this method. Coupling of this method with simple isolation methods such as antibody-modified paramagnetic particles may be implemented to lab–on-chip instrument.
We demonstrate the first example of using potentiometry at ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) for probing in real-time monitoring of biometallization processes. A copper ISE is used for real-time monitoring of the NADH-mediated reduction of copper in the presence of gold nanoparticle seeds. Such potentiometric detection of NADH is not susceptible to surface fouling common with analogous amperometric measurements of this co-factor. Biosensing of ethanol is illustrated in the presence of alcohol dehydrogenase and NAD+, along with potentiometric detection of the NADH product at the copper ISE. The concept can be readily expanded to the monitoring of various biometallization processes in connection to different enzymatic transformations and ISE, and used for ultrasensitive detection of bioaffinity interactions in connection to common enzyme tags.
The influence of the mechanical bending, rolling and crimping of flexible screen-printed electrodes upon their electrical properties and electrochemical behavior has been elucidated. Three different flexible plastic substrates, Mylar, polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), and Kapton, have been tested in connection to the printing of graphite ink working electrodes. Our data indicate that flexible printed electrodes can be bent to extremely small radii of curvature and still function well, despite a marginal increase the electrical resistance. Below critical radii of curvature of ~8 mm, full recovery of the electrical resistance occurs upon strain release. The electrochemical response is maintained for sub-mm bending radii and a 180° pinch of the electrode does not lead to device failure. The electrodes appear to be resistant to repeated bending. Such capabilities are demonstrated using model compounds, including ferrocyanide, trinitrotoluene (TNT) and nitronaphthalene (NN). These printed electrodes hold great promise for widespread applications requiring flexible, yet robust non-planar sensing devices.
Screen-printing; Flexible substrates; Mechanical bending; Electrodes
Recent advances in ion-selective electrodes have pushed the detection limits of direct potentiometry to the nanomolar concentration range. Here we present a direct comparison of the sensitivity and selectivity of potentiometric and stripping-voltammetric measurements of cadmium and lead. While both techniques offer a similar sensitivity, the potentiometric method offers higher selectivity in the presence of excess of metal ions (e.g., thallium, tin) that commonly interfere in the stripping-voltammetric operation. Because of the complementary nature of the potentiometric and stripping-voltammetric methods, it is recommended that these techniques will be selected based on the specific analytical problem or used in parallel to provide additional analytical information.
Stripping voltammetry; Potentiometry; Sensitivity; Selectivity; Trace analysis; Cadmium; Lead