Digital microarrays: single-molecule readout with interferometric detection of plasmonic nanorod labels
Daaboul, George G.
Kanik, Fulya Ekiz
Unlu, Nese Lortlar
Unlu, M. Selim
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Citation (published version)Derin Sevenler, George G Daaboul, Fulya Ekiz Kanik, Nese Lortlar Unlu, M Selim Unlu. 2018. "Digital Microarrays: Single-Molecule Readout with Interferometric Detection of Plasmonic Nanorod Labels." ACS NANO, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp. 5880 - 5887 (8). https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.8b02036
DNA and protein microarrays are a high-throughput technology that allow the simultaneous quantification of tens of thousands of different biomolecular species. The mediocre sensitivity and limited dynamic range of traditional fluorescence microarrays compared to other detection techniques have been the technology’s Achilles’ heel and prevented their adoption for many biomedical and clinical diagnostic applications. Previous work to enhance the sensitivity of microarray readout to the single-molecule (“digital”) regime have either required signal amplifying chemistry or sacrificed throughput, nixing the platform’s primary advantages. Here, we report the development of a digital microarray which extends both the sensitivity and dynamic range of microarrays by about 3 orders of magnitude. This technique uses functionalized gold nanorods as single-molecule labels and an interferometric scanner which can rapidly enumerate individual nanorods by imaging them with a 10× objective lens. This approach does not require any chemical signal enhancement such as silver deposition and scans arrays with a throughput similar to commercial fluorescence scanners. By combining single-nanoparticle enumeration and ensemble measurements of spots when the particles are very dense, this system achieves a dynamic range of about 6 orders of magnitude directly from a single scan. As a proof-of-concept digital protein microarray assay, we demonstrated detection of hepatitis B virus surface antigen in buffer with a limit of detection of 3.2 pg/mL. More broadly, the technique’s simplicity and high-throughput nature make digital microarrays a flexible platform technology with a wide range of potential applications in biomedical research and clinical diagnostics.