Nanostructured bioluminescent sensor for rapidly detecting thrombin.

Biosensors & bioelectronics

PubMedID: 26397418

Chen L, Bao Y, Denstedt J, Zhang J. Nanostructured bioluminescent sensor for rapidly detecting thrombin. Biosens Bioelectron. 2016;7783-89.
Thrombin plays a key role in thrombosis and hemostasis. The abnormal level of thrombin in body fluids may lead to different diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, glomerulonephritis, etc. Detection of thrombin level in blood and/or urine is one of important methods for medical diagnosis. Here, a bioluminescent sensor is developed for non-invasively and rapidly detecting thrombin in urine. The sensor is assembled through conjugating gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) and a recombinant protein containing Renilla luciferase (pRluc) by a peptide, which is thrombin specific substrate. The luciferase-catalyzed bioluminescence can be quenched by peptide-conjugating Au NPs. In the presence of thrombin, the short peptide conjugating luciferase and Au NPs is digested and cut off, which results in the recovery of bioluminescence due to the release of luciferase from Au NPs. The bioluminescence intensity at 470nm is observed, and increases with increasing concentration of thrombin. The bioluminescence intensity of this designed sensor is significantly recovered when the thrombin digestion time lasts for 10min. In addition, a similar linear relationship between luminescence intensity and the concentration of thrombin is found in the range of 8nM to 8┬ÁM in both buffer and human urine spiked samples. The limit of detection is as low as 80pM. It is anticipated that our nanosensor could be a promising tool for clinical diagnosis of thrombin in human urine.