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Anal Chem ; 94(36): 12500-12506, 2022 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016507


Screening high-performance anodic electrochemiluminescence (ECL) systems with low triggering potential is a promising way to broaden their applications. In addition to electrochemiluminophore, co-reactant also plays an important role in the ECL process, since the oxidation of co-reactants is one of the most important steps in the anodic ECL process. Herein, a novel co-reactant-mediated high-performance low-potential Au nanocluster (AuNC)-based ECL system has been successfully developed. Benefiting from the isopropyl substitution and hydroxyl addition to the triethylamine (TEA), the BSA-AuNC/2-(diisopropylamino)ethanol (DIPEA-OH) ECL system achieved higher energy efficiency at a lower potential of 0.75 V. In addition, compared with the BSA-AuNC/TEA system, the ECL intensity and quantum yield (ΦECL) with DIPEA-OH as a co-reactant increased 22.34-fold and 13-fold (as high as 68.17%), respectively. Based on the low potential, high ΦECL of the AuNC/DIPEA-OH ECL system, a sandwich-type immunosensor has been constructed for a highly selective SARS-CoV-2 N protein assay. In the absence of any complex signal amplification strategies, the ECL immunosensor for the SARS-CoV-2 N protein detection showed a linear range of 0.001-100 ng/mL and a detection limit of 0.35 pg/mL. Moreover, the ECL platform had good reproducibility and stability and exhibited acceptable detection performance in the detection of actual serum samples. This work established a framework for in-depth design and study of anode ECL co-reactants for AuNCs and other luminophores, and expanded the potential application of ECL sensors in the clinical diagnosis of COVID-19.

Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Metal Nanoparticles , COVID-19/diagnosis , Electrochemical Techniques , Electrodes , Humans , Immunoassay , Limit of Detection , Luminescent Measurements , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2