1. State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330047, P. R. China;
2. School of Food Science and Technology, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330047, P. R. China;
3. Jiangxi-OAI Joint Research Institute, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330047, P. R. China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
Background: Traditional lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) based on 20-40 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as signal reporter always suffers from relatively low detection sensitivity due to its insufficient brightness, severely restricting its wide-ranging application in the detection of target analytes with trace concentration.
Methods: To address this problem, the self-assembled colloidal gold superparticles (GSPs) were synthesized as an improved absorption-dominated labeling probe for improving the sensitivity of sandwich LFIA. Five kinds of GSPs with the size ranging from 100 nm to 400 nm were synthesized by embedding hydrophobic AuNPs of size 12 nm as building blocks into the polymer nanobeads. The as-prepared GSPs were suggested as novel labeling probes of LFIA. The effects of the size of assembled GSPs on the sensitivity of sandwich LFIA was assessed, and the detection performance of GSPs-LFIA was further compared with traditional AuNPs-LFIA.
Results: The resultant GSPs showed extremely high light absorption but very low light scattering, which favor the absorption-dominated signal output in LFIA. Among them, the GSP270-LFIA (size 270 nm) exhibits the highest sensitivity for human chorionic gonadotropin and hepatitis B surface antigen detection in real serum sample, which are approximate 39.79- and 13.8-fold higher than that of traditional AuNP40-LFIA.
Conclusions: The proposed research demonstrated that the current GSPs can provide an ultrasensitive and quantitative detection for disease biomarkers in real serum samples as promising reporters of sandwich LFIA platform.
Keywords: gold nanoparticle, lateral flow immunoassay, self-assembly, colloidal gold superparticle, sensitivity