Droplet-Free Digital Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Based On A Tyramide Signal Amplification System
Akama, K; Shirai, K; Suzuki, S
Digital enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is a single molecule counting technology and is one of the most sensitive immunoassay methods. The key aspect of this technology is to concentrate enzyme reaction products from a single target molecule in femtoliter droplets. This study presents a novel Digital ELISA that does not require droplets; instead, enzyme reaction products are concentrated using a tyramide signal amplification system. In our method, tyramide substrate reacts with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) labeled with an immunocomplex on beads, and the substrate is converted into short-lived radical intermediates. By adjusting the bead concentration in the HRP-tyramide reaction and conducting the reaction using freely moving beads, tyramide radicals are deposited only on beads labeled with HRP and there is no diffusion to other beads. Consequently, the fluorescence signal is localized on a portion of the beads, making it possible to count the number of labeled beads digitally. The performance of our method was demonstrated by detecting hepatitis B surface antigen with a limit of detection of 0.09 mIU/mL (139 aM) and a dynamic range of over 4 orders of magnitude. The obtained limit of detection represents a >20-fold higher sensitivity than conventional ELISA. Our method has potential applications in simple in vitro diagnostic systems for detecting ultralow concentrations of protein biomarkers.
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