Erythrocyte-camouflaged biosensor for α-hemolysin detection

Insu Kim, Yonghwan Kim, Sang Won Lee, Dongtak Lee, Hyo Gi Jung, Jae Won Jang, Taeha Lee, Young Kyung Yoon, Gyudo Lee, Dae Sung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Without appropriate treatment, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infection can cause life-threatening diseases (e.g., meningitis, pneumonia, bacteremia, and sepsis). However, a rapid and accurate point-of-care test for the infection remains challenging. The bacterium secretes α-hemolysin (Hla), which spontaneously binds to the cell membrane of erythrocyte, and eventually lyses the cell via pore formation. Taking advantage of this phenomenon, we apply the erythrocyte membrane (EM) extracted from human whole blood as a novel bioreceptor for detecting Hla, fabricating erythrocyte-camouflaged biosensors (ECB) by coating EM onto electrochemical impedance electrodes. We verify the existence of EM on the ECB by using confocal microscopy and atomic force microscopy. We demonstrate that ECBs sensitively detect Hla spiked in phosphate buffer saline and human serum. Also, the sensor shows higher sensitivity to Hla than major blood proteins, such as human serum albumin, fibrinogen, and gamma globulin. Specifically, the signal intensities for Hla are 8.8–12.7 times higher than those in the same concentration of those blood proteins. The detection limit of the ECB for Hla is 1.9 ng/ml while the dynamic range is 0.0001–1 mg/ml. Finally, we validate the constant sensing performance of ECB with 99.0 ± 5.6% accuracy for 35 days of storage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113267
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Biosensor
  • Cell membrane
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Erythrocyte
  • α-hemolysin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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