Electrochemical sandwich aptasensor for the carcinoembryonic antigen using graphene quantum dots, gold nanoparticles and nitrogen doped graphene modified electrode and exploiting the peroxidase-mimicking activity of a G-quadruplex DNAzyme


A sandwich–type electrochemical aptasensor has been constructed and applied for sensitive and selective detection of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). The surface of a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was first modified with nitrogen–doped graphene and then gold nanoparticles and graphene quantum dots electrodeposited on it to obtain an architecture of type GQD/AuNP/NG/GCE. In the next step, the CEA-binding aptamer was immobilized on the modified GCE. Hemin intercalates in the amino-modified hemin aptamer to form a hemin–G–quadruplex (hemin–G4) DNAzyme. The amino modified CEA aptamer II is connected to hemin–G4 by glutaraldehyde (GA) as a linker to produce CEAaptamerII/GA/hemin–G4 (=ApII/GA/DNAzyme). Through a sandwich mode, the ApII/GA/DNAzyme bioconjugates are captured on the modified GCE. Subsequently, the hemin–G4 acts as peroxidase-mimicking DNAzyme and rapidly catalyzes the electroreduction of hydrogen peroxide. The quantitative determination of CEA was achieved by differential pulse voltammetry, best at a working potential of around −0.27 V vs. Ag/AgCl. Under optimized conditions, the assay has a linear response in the 10.0 fg mL−1 to 200.0 ng mL−1 CEA concentration range and a lower detection limit of 3.2 fg mL−1.

Schematic presentation of a sandwich–type electrochemical aptasensor based on nitrogen doped graphene (NG), gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and graphene quantum dots (GQDs) modified glassy carbon electrode, and the hemin–G4 DNAzyme for femtomolar detection of the carcinoembryonic antigen.

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Correspondence to Hamid R. Zare.

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Shekari, Z., Zare, H.R. & Falahati, A. Electrochemical sandwich aptasensor for the carcinoembryonic antigen using graphene quantum dots, gold nanoparticles and nitrogen doped graphene modified electrode and exploiting the peroxidase-mimicking activity of a G-quadruplex DNAzyme. Microchim Acta 186, 530 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00604-019-3572-9

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  • Biomarker
  • CEA
  • Electroreduction
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Hemin–G–quadruplex ·