Microchimica Acta

, 186:509 | Cite as

A voltammetric immunoassay for the carcinoembryonic antigen using silver(I)-terephthalate metal-organic frameworks containing gold nanoparticles as a signal probe

  • Jianbo LiuEmail author
  • Yonghui Shang
  • Qiuyan Zhu
  • Xinxue Zhang
  • Jianbin Zheng
Original Paper


A voltammetric immunoassay for the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was developed using silver metal-organic frameworks (Ag-MOFs) as a signal probe. The Ag-MOFs contained a substantial amount of Ag(I) whose electrochemical signal was relatively stable. Therefore, the Ag-MOFs were viable signal probes. The signal can be detected without previous acid dissolution and preconcentration steps. This simplifies the detection steps and reduces the detection time. If CEA binds to its antibody on the modified electrode, the signal for Ag(I) becomes reduced. Measurements were best performed at a potential as low as 0.07 V (vs. SCE) which made the electrode hardly sensitive to potential electroactive interferents. Under optimized conditions, the method included a wide linear response range (0.05 to 120 ng mL−1) and a low detection limit of 8.0 fg mL−1 (S/N = 3). The synthesis of Ag-MOFs is relatively simple, and Ag-MOFs are not only used as nanocarriers for immobilizing anti-CEA but also acted as electroactive materials for a signal probe. The voltammetric immunoassay is stable, inexpensive, sensitive, and selective. Based on these advantages, the method holds great promise for applications in the point-of-care disease and environmental monitoring.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of a novel electrochemical immunoassay for the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) using silver metal-organic frameworks (Ag-MOFs) as a signal probe.


Hydrothermal synthesis Transmission electron microscopy X-ray diffraction Cyclic voltammetry Nanomaterial 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of this project by the National Science Fund of China (NO. 21475113, 21575113), the Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province of China (NO. 2018JM2044), the Scientific Research Foundation of Xianyang Science and Technology Bureau (2016 K02-15), and the Research Foundation of Xianyang Normal University (XSYK17012).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests. All experiments were performed in compliance with relevant laws or guidelines of Xianyang Normal University and approved by the ethics committee at Xianyang Normal University, China. Moreover, informed consent was obtained from human participants of this study.  

Supplementary material

604_2019_3638_MOESM1_ESM.docx (568 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 567 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianbo Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yonghui Shang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiuyan Zhu
    • 1
  • Xinxue Zhang
    • 1
  • Jianbin Zheng
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringXianyang Normal UniversityXianyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Shaanxi Provincial Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical ChemistryNorthwest UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China

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