Aptamer microarray mediated capture and mass spectrometry identification of biomarker in serum samples

J Proteome Res. 2010 Nov 5;9(11):5568-73. doi: 10.1021/pr100300t. Epub 2010 Sep 24.


Sensitive detection of molecular biomarkers in clinical samples is crucially important in disease diagnostics. This paper reports the development of an aptamer microarray platform combined with sol-gel technology to identify low-abundance targets in complex serum samples. Because of the nanoporous structure of the sol-gel, a high capacity to immobilize the affinity specific aptamers is accomplished which allows binding and detection of target molecules with high sensitivity. The captured protein is digested in situ and the obtained digest was analyzed by ESI-MS without any interference from the affinity probe. TBP (TATA Box Protein) and its specific aptamers were chosen as a model system. A proof of concept with protein concentrations ranging between nanomolar to micromolar is reported, showing a good linearity up to 400 nM when characterized in an aptamer sandwich assay. Moreover, as low as 0.001% of target protein present in total serum proteins could be identified without any pretreatment step using ESI MS/MS mass spectrometry. We believe this novel strategy could become an efficient method for aptamer-based biomarker detection linked directly to mass spectrometry readout.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aptamers, Peptide*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Proteins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Methods
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Aptamers, Peptide
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Proteins