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Terbium to quantum dot FRET bioconjugates for clinical diagnostics: Influence of human plasma on optical and assembly properties

: Morgner, F.; Stufler, S.; Geißler, D.; Medintz, I.L.; Algar, W.R.; Susumu, K.; Stewart, M.H.; Blanco-Canosa, J.B.; Dawson, P.E.; Hildebrandt, N.

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Sensors. Online journal 11 (2011), Nr.10, S.9667-9684
ISSN: 1424-8220
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) from luminescent terbium complexes (LTC) as donors to semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) as acceptors allows extraordinary large FRET efficiencies due to the long Förster distances afforded. Moreover, time-gated detection permits an efficient suppression of autofluorescent background leading to sub-picomolar detection limits even within multiplexed detection formats. These characteristics make FRET-systems with LTC and QDs excellent candidates for clinical diagnostics. So far, such proofs of principle for highly sensitive multiplexed biosensing have only been performed under optimized buffer conditions and interactions between real-lifeclinical media such as human serum or plasma and LTC-QD-FRET-systems have not yet been taken into account. Here we present an extensive spectroscopic analysis of absorption, excitation and emission spectra along with the luminescence decay times of both the single components as well as the assembled FRET-systems in TRIS-buffer, TRIS-buffer with 2% bovine serum albumin, and fresh human plasma. Moreover, we evaluated homogeneous LTC-QD FRET assays in QD conjugates assembled with either the well-known, specific biotin-streptavidin biological interaction or, alternatively, the metal-affinity coordination of histidine to zinc. In the case of conjugates assembled with biotin-streptavidin no significant interference with the optical and binding properties occurs whereas the histidine-zinc system appears to be affected by human plasma.