Detection of biomarkers using recombinant antibodies coupled to nanostructured platforms
Kierny, Michael R.
Cunningham, Thomas D.
Kay, Brian K.
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The utility of biomarker detection in tomorrow’s personalized health care field will mean early and accurate diagnosis of many types of human physiological conditions and diseases. In the search for biomarkers, recombinant affinity reagents can be generated to candidate proteins or post-translational modifications that differ qualitatively or quantitatively between normal and diseased tissues. The use of display technologies, such as phagedisplay, allows for manageable selection and optimization of affinity reagents for use in biomarker detection. Here we review the use of recombinant antibody fragments, such as scFvs and Fabs, which can be affinity-selected from phagedisplay libraries, to bind with both high specificity and affinity to biomarkers of cancer, such as Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2) and Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). We discuss how these recombinant antibodies can be fabricated into nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes, nanowires, and quantum dots, for the purpose of enhancing detection of biomarkers at low concentrations (pg/mL) within complex mixtures such as serum or tissue extracts. Other sensing technologies, which take advantage of ‘Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering’ (gold nanoshells), frequency changes in piezoelectric crystals (quartz crystal microbalance), or electrical current generation and sensing during electrochemical reactions (electrochemical detection), can effectively provide multiplexed platforms for detection of cancer and injury biomarkers. Such devices may soon replace the traditional time consuming ELISAs and Western blots, and deliver rapid, point-of-care diagnostics to market.