Analytica chimica acta

Heterogeneous immunoassay for soy protein determination using nile blue-doped silica nanoparticles as labels and front-surface long-wavelength fluorimetry.

PMID 21801888


A long-wavelength fluoroimmunoassay for the determination of soy protein is reported for the first time using a conjugate composed of anti-soy protein antibodies bound to nile blue-doped silica nanoparticles (NPs). These NPs have been synthesized by a reverse-micelle microemulsion method and functionalized by using 3-(aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APS) and 3-(trihydroxysilyl)propyl methylphosphonate (THPMP) to avoid NP aggregation. The tracer has been obtained by linking the functionalized NPs with anti-soy protein antibodies previously oxidised with sodium periodate. The immunoassay has been developed in 96-well microplates using a heterogeneous competitive format with antibody capture. Soy proteins are immobilised onto the wells and bovine serum albumin is added to block the surface, thus minimising non-specific binding. After washing, the microplates can be stored ready to use. At the analysis time, soy protein standards or sample and tracer are added and incubated and, after the corresponding washing and drying steps, the fluorescence is measured onto the solid surface at λ(ex) 620 and λ(em) 680 nm. The method features a dynamic range of 0.1-10 mg L(-1) and a detection limit of 0.05 mg L(-1). The precision of the method has been assayed at 0.5 and 5 mg L(-1) protein concentrations, obtaining the values of relative standard deviation of 9.6% and 6.1%, respectively. This new immunoassay has been applied to the analysis of food containing soy protein and the results obtained have been compared to those provided by a commercial ELISA kit with no statistically differing results. Also, a recovery study has been performed, providing percentages in the range of 81.5-111.0%.