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Fully Aqueous Self-Assembly of a Gold-Nanoparticle-Based Pathogen Sensor

Lookup NU author(s): Tim Robson, Professor Jeremy LakeyORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 by the authors.Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is a very sensitive measure of biomolecular interactions but is generally too expensive for routine analysis of clinical samples. Here we demonstrate the simplified formation of virus-detecting gold nanoparticle (AuNP) assemblies on glass using only aqueous buffers at room temperature. The AuNP assembled on silanized glass and displayed a distinctive absorbance peak due to the localized SPR (LSPR) response of the AuNPs. Next, assembly of a protein engineering scaffold was followed using LSPR and a sensitive neutron reflectometry approach, which measured the formation and structure of the biological layer on the spherical AuNP. Finally, the assembly and function of an artificial flu sensor layer consisting of an in vitro-selected single-chain antibody (scFv)-membrane protein fusion was followed using the LSPR response of AuNPs within glass capillaries. In vitro selection avoids the need for separate animal-derived antibodies and allows for the rapid production of low-cost sensor proteins. This work demonstrates a simple approach to forming oriented arrays of protein sensors on nanostructured surfaces that uses (i) an easily assembled AuNP silane layer, (ii) self-assembly of an oriented protein layer on AuNPs, and (iii) simple highly specific artificial receptor proteins.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robson T, Shah DSH, Welbourn RJL, Phillips SR, Clifton LA, Lakey JH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Year: 2023

Volume: 24

Issue: 8

Print publication date: 02/04/2023

Online publication date: 20/04/2023

Acceptance date: 18/04/2023

Date deposited: 22/05/2023

ISSN (print): 1661-6596

ISSN (electronic): 1422-0067

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/ijms24087599

PubMed id: 37108766


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