Gold Nano/Micro-Islands Overcome the Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Limitations to Achieve Ultrasensitive Protein Detection
Here, we report on an electrochemical biosensor based on core–shell structure of gold nano/micro-islands (NMIs) and electropolymerized imprinted ortho-phenylenediamine (o-PD) for detection of heart-fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP). The shape and distribution of NMIs (the core) were tuned by controlled electrodeposition of gold on a thin layer of electrochemically reduced graphene oxide (ERGO). NMIs feature a large active surface area to achieve a low detection limit (2.29 fg mL–1, a sensitivity of 1.34 × 1013 μA mM–1) and a wide linear range of detection (1 fg mL–1 to 100 ng mL–1) in PBS. Facile template H-FABP removal from the layer (the shell) in less than 1 min, high specificity against interference from myoglobin and troponin T, great stability at ambient temperature, and rapidity in detection of H-FABP (approximately 30 s) are other advantages of this biomimetic biosensor. The electrochemical measurements in human serum, human plasma, and bovine serum showed acceptable recovery (between 91.1 ± 1.7 and 112.9 ± 2.1%) in comparison with the ELISA method. Moreover, the performance of the biosensor in clinical serum showed lower detection time and limit of detection against lateral flow assay (LFA) rapid test kits, as a reference method. Ultimately, the proposed biosensor based on the core–shell structure of gold NMIs and MIP opens interesting avenues in the detection of proteins with low cost, high sensitivity and significantstability for clinical applications.