An antibody-based strategy has considerably widened the range of analytes that can be detected with personal glucose meters, according to new work by Yu Xiang and Yi Lu at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Anal. Chem., DOI: 10.1021/ac300517n).
Last year, the same team developed a technique in which DNAzymes and aptamers, functional DNAs that bind specific compounds, were used to make commercially available personal glucose meters capable of measuring a range of targets (C&EN, July 25, 2011, page 9). But functional DNAs have been developed for only a limited number of target compounds.
Now, Xiang and Lu have replaced functional DNAs with antibodies, which have been developed to recognize a much wider range of targets. They use sandwich and competitive antibody assays to quantitate, respectively, a diagnostic protein (prostate-specific antigen) and a toxin (ochratoxin A). In both approaches, the antibody recognizes the analyte, and antibody-associated invertase converts sucrose to glucose, which is measured by the glucose meter.
With support from the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps, Lu has founded a company, GlucoSentient, that will commercialize glucose-meter-based tests for nonglucose analytes.
“I didn’t doubt the generality of this approach from the first time I saw it,” comments Reginald M. Penner, a specialist in chemical sensing at the University of California, Irvine. “Its scope was originally only limited by the availability of functional DNAs,” and antibodies now further expand its applicability. “I continue to think that this is amongst the freshest and most exciting ideas in biosensing that I’ve seen,” he says.