A Chemically Synthesized Capture Agent Enables the Selective, Sensitive, and Robust Electrochemical Detection of Anthrax Protective Antigen

We report on a robust and sensitive approach for detecting protective antigen (PA) exotoxin from Bacillus anthracis in complex media. A peptide-based capture agent against PA was developed by improving a bacteria display-developed peptide into a highly selective biligand through in situ click screening against a large, chemically synthesized peptide library. This biligand was coupled with an electrochemical enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay utilizing nanostructured gold electrodes. The resultant assay yielded a limit of detection of PA of 170 pg/mL (2.1 pM) in buffer, with minimal sensitivity reduction in 1% serum. The powdered capture agent could be stably stored for several days at 65 °C, and the full electrochemical biosensor showed no loss of performance after extended storage at 40 °C. The engineered stability and specificity of this assay should be extendable to other cases in which biomolecular detection in demanding environments is required.

B. Farrow, S. A. Hong, E. C. Romero, B. Lai , M. B. Coppock , K. M. Deyle, A. S. Finch , D. N. Stratis-Cullum , H. D. Agnew , S. Yang, and J. R. Heath
ACS Nano
Volume: 7
Number: 10
Pages: 9452-9460
Date: September, 2013
ICB Affiliated Authors: James R Heath