Detection of plasma MMP-9 within minutes. Unveiling some of the clues to develop fast and simple electrochemical magneto-immunosensors

Gisela Ruiz-Vega , Alicia García-Robaina, Manel Ben Ismail,  Helena Pasamar, Teresa García-Berrocoso, Joan Montaner, Mohammed Zourob, Ali Othmane, F. Javier del Campo, Eva Baldrich

Biosensors and Bioelectronics

Volume 115, 15 September 2018, Pages 45-52


Magnetic beads (MB) have been extensively used to produce sensitive and efficient electrochemical magneto-immunosensors. However, MB effective handling requires training, and MB washing after each incubation step is time consuming and contributes to raise result variability. Consequently, most of the electrochemical magneto-immunosensors reported to date, which entailed relatively long and complex multi-step procedures, would be difficult to carry out at point-of-care (POC) settings or by laypersons. For this reason, here we targeted the development of a simplified detection path, which is fast and simple enough to be operated at a POC setting, sufficiently efficient to provide analyte quantitation comparable to classical diagnostic methods, and dependent on minimal technical requirements to facilitate method global exploitation. As a proof-of-concept, we optimized an extremely simple, fast and efficient electrochemical magneto-immunosensor for detection of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9). To accomplish this, we optimized MB immunomodification, produced an immunomodified Poly-HRP signal amplifier, developed a single-step magneto-immunoassay, and optimized electrochemical detection using a multiplexed magnetic holder and a ready-to-use commercial substrate solution. The sensor was finally calibrated by detecting MMP-9 in clinical samples. This electrochemical magneto-immunosensor detected MMP-9 in just 12–15 min, displaying linear response between 0.03 and 2 ng mL−1 of MMP-9, limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) of 13 pg mL−1 and 70 pg mL−1, respectively, %CV< 6%, and accurate quantification of MMP-9 in patient plasma samples. These results were comparable to those afforded by a 5-h reference ELISA that used the same antibodies, confirming the applicability of our simplified method.