Quantum dot-linked immunosorbent assay (QLISA) using orientation-directed antibodies

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An approach similar to the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), with the advantage of saving time and effort but exhibiting high performance, was developed using orientation-directed half-part antibodies immobilized on CdSe/ZnS quantum dots. ELISA is a widely accepted assay used to detect the presence of a target substance. However, it takes time to quantify the target with specificity and sensitivity owing to signal amplification. In this study, CdSe/ZnS quantum dots are introduced as bright and photobleaching-tolerant fluorescent materials. Since hydrophilic surface coating of quantum dots rendered biocompatibility and functional groups for chemical reactions, the quantum dots were modified with half-sized antibodies after partial reduction. The half-sized antibody could be bound to a quantum dot through a unique thiol site to properly display the recognition domain for the core process of ELISA, which is an antigen-antibody interaction. The reducing conditions were investigated to generate efficient conjugates of quantum dots and half-sized antibodies. This was applied to IL-6 detection, as the quantification of IL-6 is significant owing to its close relationships with various biomedical phenomena that cause different diseases. An ELISA-like assay with CdSe/ZnS quantum dot institution (QLISA; Quantum dot-linked immunosorbent assay) was developed to detect 0.05 ng/mL IL-6, which makes it sufficiently sensitive as an immunosorbent assay.Graphical abstractHighlightsAntibody-attached quantum dots were used to establish an ELISA-like assay, QLISA.Antibody was reduced to expose thiol groups for directed linkage to quantum dots.Efficiently labeled antibodies with bright quantum dots could amplify QLISA signal.QLISA was proven to be a general time- and effort-saving assay.

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