Integration of fluorescence imaging and electrochemical biosensing for both qualitative location and quantitative detection of cancer cells.


Center for Molecular Recognition and Biosensing, School of Life Sciences, Shanghai University, 200444, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]


In this work, DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) with unique fluorescent and electrochemical properties are prepared as dual signal probes for both qualitative imaging and quantitative detection of cancer cells in an integrated system. ITO electrode that has good light transmittance and electric conductivity is employed as a substrate for dual analysis of cancer cells. ITO electrode is firstly modified by AS1141 aptamer, which could selectively bind to nucleolin overexpressed on the surface of a model breast cancer cell, MCF-7 cell line. The composite of mucin 1 antibody (anti-MUC1) and DNA-AgNCs then binds to MUC1 on the surface of captured MCF-7 cell, forming a sandwich-like structure. Therefore, our method allows noninvasive fluorescence imaging and amplified electrochemical detection using a single labeling platform, providing a biocompatible and highly specific method for adequate analysis of cancer cells. Experimental results demonstrate that strong red fluorescence of DNA-AgNCs clearly displays the loading of cancer cells on ITO electrode after dual recognition, and amplified electrochemical signals of DNA-AgNCs enable improved sensitivity toward quantitative analysis with a detection limit of 3 cells.


DNA-templated silver nanoclusters,Electrochemical detection,Fluorescent imaging,ITO electrode,MCF-7 cell,