A highly sensitive and selective diagnostic assay based on virus nanoparticles

Jin Seung Park, Moon Kyu Cho, Eun Jung Lee, Keum Young Ahn, Kyung Eun Lee, Jae Hun Jung, Yunjung Cho, Sung Sik Han, Young Keun Kim, Jeewon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


Early detection of the protein marker troponin I in patients with a higher risk of acute myocardial infarction can reduce the risk of death from heart attacks. Most troponin assays are currently based on the conventional enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and have detection limits in the nano- and picomolar range. Here, we show that by combining viral nanoparticles, which are engineered to have dual affinity for troponin antibodies and nickel, with three-dimensional nanostructures including nickel nanohairs, we can detect troponin levels in human serum samples that are six to seven orders of magnitude lower than those detectable using conventional enzyme linked immunosorbent assays. The viral nanoparticle helps to orient the antibodies for maximum capture of the troponin markers. High densities of antibodies on the surfaces of the nanoparticles and nanohairs lead to greater binding of the troponin markers, which significantly enhances detection sensitivities. The nickel nanohairs are re-useable and can reproducibly differentiate healthy serum from unhealthy ones. We expect other viral nanoparticles to form similar highly sensitive diagnostic assays for a variety of other protein markers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Laboratory Project (a main project that supported this work) of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (grant no. ROA-2007-000-20084-0), the Korea Health 21 R&D Project of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs of the Republic of Korea (grant no. A050750), the Pioneer Research Center Program (grant no. M10711160001-08M1116-00110), the Microbial Genomics and Applications Center at KRIBB, the Seoul R&BD program (no. 10920), and the Korea Research Foundation (grant no. KRF-2006-005-J03603).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A highly sensitive and selective diagnostic assay based on virus nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this