Pollet et al. (2011) Talanta 83, 1436–1441
This paper is the first report of a fiber optic SPR biosensor with nanobead signal enhancement. We evaluated the system with a bioassay for the fast and accurate detection of peanut allergens in complex food matrices. Three approaches of an immunoassay to detect Ara h1 peanut allergens in chocolate candy bars were compared; a label-free assay, a secondary antibody sandwich assay and a nanobead enhanced assay. Although label-free detection is the most convenient, our results illustrate that functionalized nanobeads can offer a refined solution to improve the fiber SPR detection limit. By applying magnetite nanoparticles as a secondary label, the detection limit of the SPR bioassay for Ara h1 was improved by two orders of magnitude from 9 to 0.09 μg/mL. The super paramagnetic character of the nanoparticles ensured easy handling. The SPR fibers could be regenerated easily and one fiber could be reused for up to 35 times without loss of sensitivity. The results were benchmarked against a commercially available polyclonal ELISA kit. An excellent correlation was found between the Ara h1 concentrations obtained with the ELISA and the concentrations measured with the SPR fiber assay. In addition, with the SPR fiber we could measure the samples twice as fast as compared to the fastest ELISA protocol. Since the dipstick fiber has no need for microchannels that can become clogged, time consuming rinsing step could be avoided. The linear dynamic range of the presented sensor was between 0.1 and 2 μg/mL, which is considerably larger than the ELISA benchmark.