Author(s): Liu G, Wang J, Wu H, lin Y
In this article, we review recent advances of our group in nanoparticle labels based bioassay. Apoferritin and silica nanoparticles have been used as nanovehicles to load large amount of markers for highly sensitive bioassay. Markers loaded apoferritin, apoferritin-templated metallic phosphate nanoparticles, and poly[guanine] coated silica nanoparticles have been prepared, characterized and used as labels for highly sensitive bioassay of protein and DNA. Dissociation and reconstitution characteristics at different pH as well as the special cavity structure of apoferritin nanovehicle provides a simple and convenient route to prepare versatile nanoparticle labels and avoid the complicated and tedious synthesis process of conventional nanoparticle labels. The optical and electrochemical characteristics of the prepared nanoparticle labels are easily controlled by loading different optical or electrochemical markers. Additionally, the use of apoferritin nanovehicle as template for synthesis of metallic phosphate nanoparticle labels offers fast route to prepare uniform-size metallic nanoparticle labels for electrochemical bioassay and avoids the traditional harsh dissolution conditions to dissolve metallic nanoparticle tags (that is, the strong-acid dissolution of quantum dots and gold nanoparticles) during the stripping analysis step. Silica nanoparticle has also been used as nanovehicle to carry thousands of poly[guanine] tracers, which was used to enhance the oxidation current of Ru(bpy)equation image, resulting in enhanced sensitivity of electrochemical immunoassay. The new nanovehicle-based labels have been used for highly sensitive electrochemical detection of DNA and protein biomarkers, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). The high sensitivity and selectivity make these labels a useful addition to the armory of nanoparticle-based bioassay. The new nanovehicles based labels hold great promise for multiplex protein and DNA detection and for enhancing the sensitivity of other bioassays.