Continuous biomarker monitoring by particle mobility sensing with single molecule resolution

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Healthcare is in demand of technologies for real-Time sensing in order to continuously guard the state of patients. Here we present biomarker-monitoring based on the sensing of particle mobility, a concept wherein particles are coupled to a substrate via a flexible molecular tether, with both the particles and substrate provided with affinity molecules for effectuating specific and reversible interactions. Single-molecular binding and unbinding events modulate the Brownian particle motion and the state changes are recorded using optical scattering microscopy. The technology is demonstrated with DNA and protein as model biomarkers, in buffer and in blood plasma, showing sensitivity to picomolar and nanomolar concentrations. The sensing principle is direct and self-contained, without consuming or producing any reactants. With its basis in reversible interactions and single-molecule resolution, we envisage that the presented technology will enable biosensors for continuous biomarker monitoring with high sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2541
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Animals
  • Biomarkers/blood
  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Biotin/chemistry
  • Cattle
  • DNA/blood
  • DNA Probes/chemical synthesis
  • DNA, Single-Stranded/blood
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles/chemistry
  • MicroRNAs/blood
  • Microscopy, Video/methods
  • Monitoring, Physiologic/methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Single Molecule Imaging/instrumentation
  • Streptavidin/chemistry
  • Thrombin/analysis


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