The importance of early diagnosis devices increased continuously in the last two decades and plays an important role in medical care. Early stage diagnosis of e.g. ovarian cancer, HCV-infection or HIV-infection increased the survival rate of patients significantly. In parallel there is a trend leaving centralized diagnostic laboratories in order to get closer to the patient to perform analysis of even complex parameters in the field. This often saves time, increases the prognosis of the patient significantly and is cheaper in many cases. In this study we employ a rapid and cost-effective detection system based on electrical biochip technology for decentralized detection of anti-HCV Core immunoglobulins (HCV antibodies). In this system the qualitative and quantitative detection of virus-specific antibodies is done by an ELISA directly on a gold electrode array utilizing HCV Core as capture antigen. The biochip allows antibody detection within 20 min. Signal amplification was done by enzyme labelling and by "Single Electrode Redox Cycling". This method enhances current signals up to 40-fold in comparison to simple oxidation. The sensitivity of this approach is therefore comparable to a standard microtiter plate based ELISA with a 9-fold saving of assay time. This biochip system allows serum or whole blood analysis with no signal loss or increasing background caused by the red blood cells. Fields of application can be hospital emergency units where only single detections have to be conducted in a quick manner or by the general practitioner.
A new approach for the detection of virulence factors of Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis using an electrical protein array chip technology is presented. The procedure is based on an enzyme-linked sandwich immunoassay, which includes recognition and binding of virulence factors by specific capture and detection antibodies. Detection of antibody-bound virulence factors is achieved by measuring the electrical current generated by redox recycling of an enzymatically released substance. The current (measured in nanoampere) corresponds to the amount of the target molecule in the analyzed sample. The electrical protein chip allows for a fast detection of Staphylococcus enterotoxin B (SEB) of S. aureus and immunodominant antigen A homologue (IsaA homologue) of S. epidermidis in different liquid matrices. The S. aureus SEB virulence factor could be detected in minimal medium, milk, and urine in a concentration of 1 ng/ml within less than 23 min. Furthermore, a simultaneous detection of SEB of S. aureus and IsaA homologue of S. epidermidis in a single assay could be demonstrated.
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