One of the applications of clinical proteomics is the development of protein sensor platform technologies for rapid bedside detection of disease biomarkers. Multiplexed protein biomarker analysis is a new way to predict the disease earlier and monitor its progress with more specificity and accuracy. We present here the development of a prototype electrical protein biomarker detection system. It comprises of a silicon based microelectrode array also known as the sensor chip. Polystyrene beads act as the carriers or transportation agents for the proteins and provide surface area for immobilizing protein receptors (antibodies) on the surface of the sensor chip. Polystyrene “microbridge” structures are patterned on the surface of the sensor chip, such that they form conductive paths between the selected electrodes. This is achieved by the electrokinetic assembly of the antibody functionalized polystyrene beads. The electrical assembly is achieved using dielectrophoresis. The “microbridge” structures couple signals arising due to the antibody-antigen binding event that occurs when the test sample is flowed on to the sensor platform. We demonstrate the functioning of this device in the detection for an inflammation marker, namely, C-reactive protein at microgram/ml sensitivity.
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