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Biomolecular detection by a cantilever functionalized by RNA aptamers as receptor molecules

We have recently reported the label-free detection of HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) helicase by using a resonating microcantilever whose surface is functionalized by RNA aptamers as receptor molecules. This work was accepted for publication at Biosensors & Bioelectronics.

Abstract

We report the nanomechanical microcantilevers operated in vibration modes with use of RNA aptamers as receptor molecules for label-free detection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) helicase. The nanomechanical detection principle is that ligand-receptor binding on the microcantilever surface induces the dynamic response change of a microcantilevers. We implemented the label-free detection of HCV helicase in the low concentration as much as 100 pg/ml from measuring the dynamic response change of microcantilevers. Moreover, from the recent studies showing that the ligand-receptor binding generates the surface stress on the microcantilever, we estimate the surface stress, on the oscillating microcantilever surface, induced by ligand-receptor binding, i.e. binding between HCV helicase and RNA aptamer. In this article, it is suggested that the oscillating microcantilevers with use of RNA aptamers as receptor molecules may enable one to implement the sensitive label-free detection of very small amount of small-scale proteins.

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