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Toward the Rapid Diagnosis of Sepsis: Detecting Interleukin-6 in Blood Plasma Using Functionalized Screen-Printed Electrodes with a Thermal Detection Methodology

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Marloes PeetersORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This paper reports the detection of the inflammatory and sepsis-related biomarker, interleukin-6 (IL-6), in human blood plasma using functionalized screen-printed electrodes (SPEs) in conjunction with a thermal detection methodology, termed heat-transfer method (HTM). SPEs are functionalized with antibodies specific for IL-6 through electrodeposition of a diazonium linking group and N′-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) coupling, which was tracked through the use of cyclic voltammetry and Raman spectroscopy. The functionalized SPEs are mounted inside an additively manufactured flow cell and connected to the HTM device. We demonstrate the ability to detect IL-6 at clinically relevant concentrations in PBS buffer (pH = 7.4) with no significant interference from the similarly sized sepsis-related biomarker procalcitonin (PCT). The limit of detection (3σ) of the system is calculated to correspond to 3.4 ± 0.2 pg mL–1 with a working range spanning the physiologically relevant concentration levels in both healthy individuals and patients with sepsis, indicating the sensitivity of the sensor is suitable for the application. Further experiments helped provide a proof-of-application through the detection of IL-6 in blood plasma with no significant interference observed from PCT or the constituents of the medium. Due to the selectivity, sensitivity, straightforward operation, and low cost of production, this sensor platform has the potential for use as a traffic light sensor for the multidetection of inflammatory biomarkers for the diagnosis of sepsis and other conditions in which the rapid testing of blood biomarkers has vital clinical application.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Crapnell R, Jesadabundit W, García-Miranda Ferrari A, Dempsey-Hibbert N, Peeters M, Tridente A, Chailapakul O, Banks C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Analytical Chemistry

Year: 2021

Volume: 93

Issue: 14

Pages: 5931-5938

Print publication date: 01/04/2021

Online publication date: 01/04/2021

Acceptance date: 22/03/2021

Date deposited: 26/05/2021

ISSN (print): 0003-2700

ISSN (electronic): 1520-6882

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c00417


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