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Mass Spectrometry Signal Amplification Method for Attomolar Detection of Antigens Using Small-Molecule-Tagged Gold Microparticles


  • The MS measurements were carried out at the Institute of Bioscience and Technology at Konkuk University. This work was supported by a Korea Research Foundation grant funded by the Korean Government (MOEHRD; KRF-2007-331-C00175) and by the Intelligent Microsystem Center, which carries out one of the 21st century's Frontier R&D Projects sponsored by the Korea Ministry of Knowledge Economy.


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Small but more than enough: Proteins are detected in solution without additional amplification or labeling steps by using a small molecule as a reporter of the protein (see picture, Am-tag=amplification tag). The combination of self-assembled monolayers on gold with matrix-free laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry offers ultrahigh sensitivity with a detection limit of several attomoles.