In this work, we demonstrate that signal-masking reagents together with appropriate capture antibody carriers can eliminate the washing steps in sandwich immunoassays. A flotation immunoassay (FI) platform was developed with horseradish peroxidase chemiluminescence as the reporter system, the dye Brilliant Blue FCF as the signal-masking reagent, and buoyant silica micro-bubbles as the capture antibody carriers. Only reporters captured on micro-bubbles float above the dye and become visible in an analyte-dependent manner. These FIs are capable of detecting proteins down to attomole levels and as few as 10 6 virus particles. This signal-masking strategy represents a novel approach to simple, sensitive and quantitative immunoassays in both laboratory and point-of-care settings.
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