Three different signal amplification strategies for the impedimetric sandwich detection of thrombin

Cristina Ocaña, Manel del Valle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier B.V. In this work, we report a comparative study on three highly specific amplification strategies for the ultrasensitive detection of thrombin with the use of aptamer sandwich protocol. The protocol consisted on the use of a first thrombin aptamer immobilized on the electrode surface, the recognition of thrombin protein, and the reaction with a second biotinylated thrombin aptamer forming the sandwich. Through the exposed biotin end, three variants have been tested to amplify the electrochemical impedance signal. The strategies included (a) silver enhancement treatment, (b) gold enhancement treatment and (c) insoluble product produced by the combination of the enzyme horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and 3-amino-9-ethylcarbazole (AEC). The properties of the sensing surface were probed by electrochemical impedance measurements in the presence of the ferrocyanide/ferricyanide redox marker. Insoluble product strategy and silver enhancement treatment resulted in the lowest detection limit (0.3 pM), while gold enhancement method resulted in the highest reproducibility, 8.8% RSD at the pM thrombin concentration levels. Results of silver and gold enhancement treatment also permitted direct inspection by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-124
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2016


  • Amplification
  • Aptamer
  • Aptasensor
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Impedance
  • Insoluble product


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