Dias JT, Svedberg G, Nystrand M, Andersson-Svahn H, Gantelius J
J Vis Exp - (133) - [2018-03-07; online 2018-03-07]
The use of nanoprobes such as gold, silver, silica or iron-oxide nanoparticles as detection reagents in bioanalytical assays can enable high sensitivity and convenient colorimetric readout. However, high densities of nanoparticles are typically needed for detection. The available synthesis-based enhancement protocols are either limited to gold and silver nanoparticles or rely on precise enzymatic control and optimization. Here, we present a protocol to enhance the colorimetric readout of gold, silver, silica, and iron oxide nanoprobes. It was observed that the colorimetric signal can be improved by up to a 10000-fold factor. The basis for such signal enhancement strategies is the chemical reduction of Au 3+ to Au0. There are several chemical reactions that enable the reduction of Au3+ to Au0. In the protocol, Good's buffers and H2O2 are used and it is possible to favor the deposition of Au0 onto the surface of existing nanoprobes, in detriment of the formation of new gold nanoparticles. The protocol consists of the incubation of the microarray with a solution consisting of chloroauric acid and H2O2 in 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid pH 6 buffer following the nanoprobe-based detection assay. The enhancement solution can be applied to paper and glass-based sensors. Moreover, it can be used in commercially available immunoassays as demonstrated by the application of the method to a commercial allergen microarray. The signal development requires less than 5 min of incubation with the enhancement solution and the readout can be assessed by naked eye or low-end image acquisition devices such as a table-top scanner or a digital camera.