Scientific reports

Quantification of NS1 dengue biomarker in serum via optomagnetic nanocluster detection.

PMID 26536916


Dengue is a tropical vector-borne disease without cure or vaccine that progressively spreads into regions with temperate climates. Diagnostic tools amenable to resource-limited settings would be highly valuable for epidemiologic control and containment during outbreaks. Here, we present a novel low-cost automated biosensing platform for detection of dengue fever biomarker NS1 and demonstrate it on NS1 spiked in human serum. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are coated with high-affinity monoclonal antibodies against NS1 via bio-orthogonal Cu-free 'click' chemistry on an anti-fouling surface molecular architecture. The presence of the target antigen NS1 triggers MNP agglutination and the formation of nanoclusters with rapid kinetics enhanced by external magnetic actuation. The amount and size of the nanoclusters correlate with the target concentration and can be quantified using an optomagnetic readout method. The resulting automated dengue fever assay takes just 8 minutes, requires 6 μL of serum sample and shows a limit of detection of 25 ng/mL with an upper detection range of 20000 ng/mL. The technology holds a great potential to be applied to NS1 detection in patient samples. As the assay is implemented on a low-cost microfluidic disc the platform is suited for further expansion to multiplexed detection of a wide panel of biomarkers.