Multifunctional dendrimer-templated antibody presentation on biosensor surfaces for improved biomarker detection

Hye Jung Han, Rangaramanujam M. Kannan, Sunxi Wang, Guangzhao Mao, Juan Pedro Kusanovic, Roberto Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Dendrimers, with their well-defined globular shape and high density of functional groups, are ideal nanoscale materials for templating sensor surfaces. This work exploits dendrimers as a versatile platform for capturing biomarkers with improved sensitivity and specificity. The synthesis, characterization, fabrication, and functional validation of the dendrimer-based assay platform are described. Bifunctional hydroxyl/thiol. functionalized G4-polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer is synthesized and immobilized on the polyethylene-glycol (PEC)-functionalized assay plate by coupling PEC-maleimide and dendrimer thiol groups. Simultaneously, part of the dendrimer thiol groups are converted to hydrazide functionalities. The resulting dendrimer-modified surface is coupled to the capture antibody in the Fc region of the oxidized antibody. This preserves the orientation flexibility of the antigen binding region (Fv) of the antibody. To validate the approach, the fabricated plates are further used as a solid phase for developing a sandwich-type enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect IL-6 and IL-1β, important biomarkers for early stages of chorioamnionitis. The dendrimer-modified plate provides assays with significantly enhanced sensitivity, lower nonspecific adsorption, and a detection limit of 0.13 pg mL-1 for IL-6 luminol detection and 1.15 pgrnL-1 for IL-1β TMB detection, which are significantly better than those for the traditional ELISA. The assays were validated in human serum samples from a normal (nonpregnant) woman and pregnant women with pyelonephritis. The specificity and the improved sensitivity of the dendrimer-based capture strategy could have significant implications for the detection of a wide range of cytokines and biomarkers since the capture strategy could be applied to multiplex microbead assays, conductometric immunosensors, and field-effect biosensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-421
Number of pages13
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 8 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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