Quantitative Lateral Flow Strip Sensor Using Highly Doped Upconversion Nanoparticles

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Journal Article
Analytical Chemistry, 2018, 90 (21), pp. 12356 - 12360
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© 2018 American Chemical Society. Paper-based lateral flow assays, though being low-cost and widely used for rapid in vitro diagnostics, are indicative and do not provide sufficient sensitivity for the detection and quantification of low abundant biomarkers for early stage cancer diagnosis. Here, we design a compact device to create a focused illumination spot with high irradiance, which activates a range of highly doped 50 nm upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) to produce orders of magnitude brighter emissions. The device employs a very low-cost laser diode, simplified excitation, and collection optics and permits a mobile phone camera to record the results. Using highly erbium ion (Er 3+ )-doped and thulium ion (Tm 3+ )-doped UCNPs as two independent reporters on two-color lateral flow strips, new records of limit of detection (LOD), 89 and 400 pg/mL, have been achieved for the ultrasensitive detection of prostate specific antigen (PSA) and ephrin type-A receptor 2 (EphA2) biomarkers, respectively, without crosstalk. The technique and device presented in this work suggests a broad scope of low-cost, rapid, and quantitative lateral flow assays in early detection of bioanalytes.
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