A major problem for many sensors today is non-specific adsorption of proteins and other macromolecules, creating false
positive and false negative results. In this work, short oligonucleotides were added to the self-assembled monolayer (SAM),
creating a negatively charged layer that helped to resist adsorption. Utilizing an immunodominant epitope from the HIV-1 p24
protein, the authors were able to detect correct antibodies in the presence of random antibodies as well as in the presence of
complex matrices. With the addition of the short oligonucleotides to the SAM, the detection of correct antibodies became more
sensitive as opposed to the absence of the oligonucleotides. These results suggest that this could be a widely used platform, which
the authors will apply to other developed sensors.
Anita J. Zaitouna is working on completing her Ph.D. with Dr. Rebecca Y. Lai, where she has learned about electrochemistry, biosensors, and other
characterization techniques. Upon completion of her Ph.D., she plans on furthering her career with a post-doctoral position.
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