Owing to the small size, high surface-to-volume ratio, and good biocompatibility, silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) have become the normally used carrier for biomolecule immobilization. Label-based detection techniques have been used extensively for a wide range of applications in biological analysis. Organic dye, enzyme, electroactive species, and quantum dots (QDs) with unique optical and electrochemical performances have been used as probes for chemical and biological analysis. The common problem is that only a limited amount of probes can be linked to a biomolecule, which limited the extensive use of these probes in trace amounts of analyte detection. New technologies can provide efficient means to carry them with SiNPs, which possess a three-dimensional network suitable for load or encapsulating a large amount of probes. As a result, composite SiNPs can improve the detection sensitivity significantly because they carry a large amount of probes, which is beneficial for trace analysis. Also, SiNPs are nontoxic, highly water soluble, suitable for many biomolecules to conjugate, and increase the chemical and physical stability of the probes, which is very important for biological analysis. The goal of this review is to describe recent progress in the methods that SiNPs are used as a carrier of dyes, QDs, and enzyme and their application in biological analysis. Among these, SiNPs as a biolabel reagent for signal amplification in immunoassay, DNA, protein, and small molecule detection are the main topic in this review. We focus on two types of methods of carrying signal probes with SiNPs. One is to modify probes on the outer surface of the SiNPs and another is to encapsulate signal probes into the SiNPs. Particular attention is paid to update reported advances since 2009.
About the authors
Wei Wei was born in Henan, China, in 1975. She received her PhD degree from the Nanjing University in 2004. She joined the Southeast University in 2004 and has been an Associate Professor since 2009. Her interests are in the study of new analytical methods based on spectroscopy, electrochemical, and chromatography. In recent years, she has studied many new methods for food, environment, pharmacy, and clinic analysis. Her studies were funded by several national and provincial Nature Science Foundations of China.
Min Wei was born in Henan, China, in 1980. She received her PhD degree from the Southeast University in 2009. She joined the Henan University of Technology in 2009 and has been a college lecturer since 2009. Her interests are in the study of new analytical method based on electrochemistry.
Songqin Liu was born in Jingjiang, China, in 1965. He received his PhD degree from the University of Nanjing in 2003. He has been a Professor in the Department of Chemistry since 2005. His major research area is in the fabrication and development of biosensors for the sensitively recognition of glycoprotein molecules in blood. His main interests are in new methods and novel techniques for the detecting of glycoproteins, revealing the relationship between these glycoproteins or their expressed level and the illness or the curative effects, and developing novel clinical diagnosis approach with high selectively and sensitivity.
©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston
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