Detection of Circulating Cancer Cells Using Electrocatalytic Gold Nanoparticles

Authors

  • Marisa Maltez-da Costa,

    1. Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group, CIN2 (ICN-CSIC), Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, Campus de la UAB, Bellaterra (Barcelona), 08193 Spain
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  • Alfredo de la Escosura-Muñiz,

    1. Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group, CIN2 (ICN-CSIC), Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, Campus de la UAB, Bellaterra (Barcelona), 08193 Spain
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  • Carme Nogués,

    1. Departament de Biologia Cellular, Fisiologia i Immunologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus UAB-Facultat de Biociències, Bellaterra (Barcelona), 08193 Spain
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  • Lleonard Barrios,

    1. Departament de Biologia Cellular, Fisiologia i Immunologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus UAB-Facultat de Biociències, Bellaterra (Barcelona), 08193 Spain
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  • Elena Ibáñez,

    1. Departament de Biologia Cellular, Fisiologia i Immunologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus UAB-Facultat de Biociències, Bellaterra (Barcelona), 08193 Spain
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  • Arben Merkoçi

    Corresponding author
    1. ICREA, Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis, Avançats and Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group, CIN2 (ICN-CSIC), Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, Campus de la UAB Bellaterra (Barcelona), 08193 Spain
    • ICREA, Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis, Avançats and Nanobioelectronics & Biosensors Group, CIN2 (ICN-CSIC), Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, Campus de la UAB Bellaterra (Barcelona), 08193 Spain.
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Abstract

A rapid cancer cell detection and quantification assay, based on the electrocatalytic properties of gold nanoparticles towards the hydrogen evolution reaction, is described. The selective labeling of cancer cells is performed in suspension, allowing a fast interaction between the gold nanoparticle labels and the target proteins expressed at the cell membrane. The subsequent electrochemical detection is accomplished with small volumes of sample and user-friendly equipment through a simple electrochemical method that generates a fast electrochemical response used for the quantification of nanoparticle-labeled cancer cells. The system establishes a selective cell-detection assay capable of detecting 4 × 103 cancer cells in suspension that can be extended to several other cells detection scenarios.

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