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Reagentless measurement of aminoglycoside antibiotics in blood serum via an electrochemical, ribonucleic acid aptamer-based biosensor.


ABSTRACT: Biosensors built using ribonucleic acid (RNA) aptamers show promise as tools for point-of-care medical diagnostics, but they remain vulnerable to nuclease degradation when deployed in clinical samples. To explore methods for protecting RNA-based biosensors from such degradation we have constructed and characterized an electrochemical, aptamer-based sensor for the detection of aminoglycosidic antibiotics. We find that while this sensor achieves low micromolar detection limits and subminute equilibration times when challenged in buffer, it deteriorates rapidly when immersed directly in blood serum. In order to circumvent this problem, we have developed and tested sensors employing modified versions of the same aptamer. Our first effort to this end entailed the methylation of all of the 2'-hydroxyl groups outside of the aptamer's antibiotic binding pocket. However, while devices employing this modified aptamer are as sensitive as those employing an unmodified parent, the modification fails to confer greater stability when the sensor is challenged directly in blood serum. As a second potentially naive alternative, we replaced the RNA bases in the aptamer with their more degradation-resistant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) equivalents. Surprisingly and unlike control DNA-stem loops employing other sequences, this DNA aptamer retains the ability to bind aminoglycosides, albeit with poorer affinity than the parent RNA aptamer. Unfortunately, however, while sensors fabricated using this DNA aptamer are stable in blood serum, its lower affinity pushes their detection limits above the therapeutically relevant range. Finally, we find that ultrafiltration through a low-molecular-weight-cutoff spin column rapidly and efficiently removes the relevant nucleases from serum samples spiked with gentamicin, allowing the convenient detection of this aminoglycoside at clinically relevant concentrations using the original RNA-based sensor.

SUBMITTER: Rowe AA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3082472 | BioStudies | 2010-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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