Interfibio members in collaboration with researchers from the  University of Western Cape have published the following article:

A Label-Free Gold Nanoparticles-Based Optical Aptasensor for the Detection of Retinol Binding Protein 4, Biosensors 202212(12), 1061; November 2022


Retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) has been implicated in insulin resistance in rodents and humans with obesity and T2DM, making it a potential biomarker for the early diagnosis of T2DM. However, diagnostic tools for low-level detection of RBP4 are still lagging behind. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the development of T2DM diagnostics that are rapid, cost-effective and that can be used at the point-of-care (POC). Recently, nano-enabled biosensors integrating highly selective optical detection techniques and specificity of aptamers have been widely developed for the rapid detection of various targets. This study reports on the development of a rapid gold nanoparticles (AuNPs)-based aptasensor for the detection of RBP4. The retinol-binding protein aptamer (RBP-A) is adsorbed on the surface of the AuNPs through van der Waals and hydrophobic interactions, stabilizing the AuNPs against sodium chloride (NaCl)-induced aggregation. Upon the addition of RBP4, the RBP-A binds to RBP4 and detaches from the surface of the AuNPs, leaving the AuNPs unprotected. Addition of NaCl causes aggregation of AuNPs, leading to a visible colour change of the AuNPs solution from ruby red to purple/blue. The test result was available within 5 min and the assay had a limit of detection of 90.76 ± 2.81 nM. This study demonstrates the successful development of a simple yet effective, specific, and colorimetric rapid assay for RBP4 detection.