Scientific reports

Aptamer-based Sandwich Assay and its Clinical Outlooks for Detecting Lipocalin-2 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC).

PMID 26039737


We validated a single-stranded, DNA aptamer-based, diagnostic method capable of detecting Lipocalin-2 (LCN2), a biomarker from clinically relevant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patient serum, in the sandwich assay format. Nine aptamers (LCN2_apta1 to LCN2_apta9) for LCN2 were screened with SELEX processes, and a sandwich pair (LCN2_apta2 and LCN2_apta4) was finally chosen using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and dot blotting analysis. The result of the proposed aptamer sandwich construction shows that LCN2 was sensitively detected in the concentration range of 2.5-500 ng mL(-1) with a limit of detection of 0.6 ng mL(-1). Quantitative measurement tests in HCC patients were run on straight serum and were compared with the performance of the conventional antibody-based ELISA kit. The aptamer sandwich assay demonstrated an excellent dynamic range for LCN2 at clinically relevant serum levels, covering sub-nanogram per mL concentrations. The new approach offers a simple and robust method for detecting serum biomarkers that have low and moderate abundance. It consists of functionalization, hybridization and signal read-out, and no dilution is required. The results of the study demonstrate the capability of the aptamer sandwich assay platform for diagnosing HCC and its potential applicability to the point-of-care testing (POCT) system.

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