We report here a novel strategy for the high-sensitive detection of target biomolecules with very low concentrations on a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) device using gold nanoparticles as signal enhancement probes. By employing a streptavidin-biotin interaction as a model system, we could prepare biotin-conjugated gold nanoparticles maintaining good dispersion and long-term stability by controlling the biotin density on the surface of gold nanoparticles that have been investigated by UV-vis spectra and AFM images. These results showed that 10 µM N-(6-[biotinamido]hexyl)-3′-(2′-pyridyldithio)propionamide (biotin-HPDP) was the critical concentration to prevent the nonspecific aggregation of gold nanoparticles in this system. For sensing streptavidin target molecules by QCM, biotinylated BSA was absorbed on the Au surface of the QCM electrode and subsequent coupling of the target streptavidin to the biotin in the sensing interface followed. Amplification of the sensing process was performed by the interaction of the target streptavidin on the sensing surface with gold nanoparticles modified with 10 µM biotin-HPDP. The biotinylated gold nanoparticles were used as signal amplification probes to improve the detection limit, which was 50 ng/ml, of the streptavidin detection system without signal enhancement, and the calibration curve determined for the net frequency changes showed good linearity over a wide range from 1 ng/ml to 10 µg/ml for the quantitative streptavidin target molecule analysis. In addition, the measured dissipation changes suggested that the layer of biotin-BSA adsorbed on the Au electrode and the streptavidin layer assembled on the biotin-BSA surface were highly compact and rigid. On the other hand, the structure formed by the biotinylated gold nanoparticles on the streptavidin layer was flexible and dissipative, being elongated outward from the sensing surface.
2007 by The Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry