Optimizing Activity of Antibody Layer for a Printable Immunodiagnostic Device
Cockroft, Nicholas T.
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Present day medical diagnostic equipment has been designed for use in laboratories which have very controlled conditions. However, conditions are not controllable everywhere that lifesaving diagnoses are required. For example, many developing nations are afflicted by a number of infectious diseases which significantly reduce the life span of their populations. There is a need for a rapid, rugged, and cheap diagnostic device which would help screen these populations for such diseases so proper care may be provided. This could be achieved by the creation of a biosensor, based on a microfluidic system, which detects electrochemical changes in a sample through specific antibody-antigen interactions. Ideally, this device would have a limit of detection similar to an ELISA test with the simplicity of use seen with home-use blood glucose meters. Additionally, cleverly designing this device so as to be printable using specialized printing instruments would make it more affordable and simpler to mass produce. A crucial aspect of the proposed electrochemical biosensor is maintaining the activity level of the immobilized antibodies, which act as bioreceptors, and are prone to denaturization if not treated and stored correctly. This study attempts to discover materials and solutions which have a protective effect on the antibodies being immobilized, while retaining the electrical functionalities of the nanomaterials which also are being used as a mechanical support for the biosensor. Antibody activity was assessed by comparing spectrophotometric data collected from assays to construct calibration curves. The results of this study indicated the need for further experiments to be conducted that focus on improving antigen application, antigen exposure to phosphate substrate, and the antibody immobilization technique. Additionally, the compositions of the materials and solutions being used in an attempt to monitor the activity of the antibodies will not be disclosed in this paper due to proprietary requirements.