Demand for highly sensitive, robust diagnostics and environmental monitoring methods has led to extensive research in improving reporter technologies. Inorganic phosphorescent materials exhibiting persistent luminescence are commonly found in electroluminescent displays and glowing paints but are not widely used as reporters in diagnostic assays. Persistent luminescence nanoparticles (PLNPs) offer advantages over conventional photoluminescent probes, including the potential for enhanced sensitivity by collecting time-resolved measurements or images with decreased background autofluorescence while eliminating the need for expensive optical hardware, superior resistance to photobleaching, amenability to quantitation, and facile bioconjugation schemes. We isolated rare-earth doped strontium aluminate PLNPs from larger-particle commercial materials by wet milling and differential sedimentation and water-stabilized the particles by silica encapsulation using a modified Stober process. Surface treatment with aldehyde silane followed by reductive amination with heterobifunctional amine-poly(ethylene glycol)-carboxyl allowed covalent attachment of proteins to the particles using standard carbodiimide chemistry. NeutrAvidin PLNPs were used in lateral flow assays (LFAs) with biotinylated lysozyme as a model analyte in buffer and monoclonal anti-lysozyme HyHEL-5 antibodies at the test line. Preliminary experiments revealed a limit of detection below 100 pg/mL using the NeutrAvidin PLNPs, which was approximately an order of magnitude more sensitive than colloidal gold.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry