Publications & Posters

Sequential Protein Capture In Multiplex Single Molecule Arrays: A Strategy For Eliminating Assay Cross-reactivity

Advanced Healthcare Materials | September 06, 2020

Gilboa T, Maley AM, Ogata AF, Wu C and Walt DR.

Adv Healthc Mater. 2020 Sep 6;e2001111


This study was peformed using a Simoa® Homebrew assay.


Measurements of multiple biomolecules within the same biological sample are important for many clinical applications to enable accurate disease diagnosis or classification. These disease-related biomarkers often exist at very low levels in biological fluids, necessitating ultrasensitive measurement methods. Single-molecule arrays (Simoa), a bead-based digital enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, is the current state of the art for ultrasensitive protein detection and can detect sub-femtomolar protein concentrations, but its ability to achieve high-order multiplexing without cross-reactivity remains a challenge. Here, a sequential protein capture approach for multiplex Simoa assays is implemented to eliminate cross-reactivity between binding reagents by sequentially capturing each protein analyte and then incubating each capture bead with only its corresponding detection antibody. This strategy not only reduces cross-reactivity to background levels and significantly improves measurement accuracies, but also enables higher-order multiplexing. As a proof of concept, the sequential multiplex Simoa assay is used to measure five different cytokines in plasma samples from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. The ultrasensitive sequential multiplex Simoa assays will enable the simultaneous measurements of multiple low-abundance analytes in a time- and cost-effective manner and will prove especially critical in many cases where sample volumes are limited.