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We developed a label-free and reagent-less potentiometric biosensor with improved affinity for thrombin. Two different oligomeric DNA aptamers that can recognize different epitopes in thrombin were introduced in parallel or serial manners on the sensing surface to capture the target via multiple contacts as found in many biological systems. The spacer and linker in the aptamer probes were optimized for exerting the best performance in molecular recognition. To gain the specificity of the sensor to the target, an antifouling molecule, sulfobeaine-3-undecanethiol (SB), was introduced on the sensor to form a self-assembled monolayer (SAM). Surface characterization revealed that the aptamer probe density was comparable to the distance of the two epitopes in thrombin, while the backfilling SB SAM was tightly aligned on the surface to resist nonspecific adsorption. The apparent binding parameters were obtained by thrombin sensing in potentiometry using the 1:1 Langmuir adsorption model, showing the improved dissociation constants (Kd) with the limit of detection of 5.5 nM on the dual aptamer-immobilized surfaces compared with single aptamer-immobilized ones. A fine control of spacer and linker length in the aptamer ligand was essential to realize the multivalent binding of thrombin on the sensor surface. The findings reported herein are effective for improving the sensitivity of potentiometric biosensor in an affordable way towards detection of tiny amount of biomolecules.

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This page is a summary of: Dual aptamer-immobilized surfaces for improved affinity through multiple target binding in potentiometric thrombin biosensing, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, November 2015, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.bios.2015.05.067.
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