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Visual aptamer-based capillary assay for ethanolamine using magnetic particles and strand displacement

: Mahmoud, Mostafa; Laufer, Stefan; Deigner, Hans-Peter


Mikrochimica Acta 186 (2019), Art. 690, 8 pp.
ISSN: 0026-3672
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()
aptamer-assay; small molecules; capillary flow; visual detection; Magnetpartikel; RGB images

This work describes an aptamer-based capillary assay for ethanolamine (EA). It is making use of strand displacement format and magnetic particles. The capillary tubes are coated with three layers, viz. (a) first with short oligonucleotides complementary to the aptamer (EA-comp.); (b) then with magnetic particles (Dynabeads) coated with EA-binding aptamer (EA-aptamer), and (c) with short oligonucleotide-coated magnetic particles (EA-comp.). On exposure to a sample containing ethanolamine, the DNA-coated magnetic particles are released and subsequently collected and spatially separated using a permanent magnet. This results in the formation of a characteristic black/brown spots. The assay has a visual limit of detection of 5 nM and only requires 5 min of incubation. Quantification is possible through capture and analysis of digital (RGB) photos in the 5 to 75 nM EA concentration range. Furthermore, results from tap water and serum spiked with EA samples showed that the platform performs well in complex samples and can be applied to real sample analysis. The combined use of plastic capillaries, visual detection and passive flow make the method suited for implementation into a point-of-care device.