Highly sensitive dendrimer-based nanoplasmonic biosensor for drug allergy diagnosis

Biosens Bioelectron. 2015 Apr 15;66:115-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2014.10.081. Epub 2014 Nov 13.


A label-free biosensing strategy for amoxicillin (AX) allergy diagnosis based on the combination of novel dendrimer-based conjugates and a recently developed nanoplasmonic sensor technology is reported. Gold nanodisks were functionalized with a custom-designed thiol-ending-polyamido-based dendron (d-BAPAD) peripherally decorated with amoxicilloyl (AXO) groups (d-BAPAD-AXO) in order to detect specific IgE generated in patient's serum against this antibiotic during an allergy outbreak. This innovative strategy, which follows a simple one-step immobilization procedure, shows exceptional results in terms of sensitivity and robustness, leading to a highly-reproducible and long-term stable surface which allows achieving extremely low limits of detection. Moreover, the viability of this biosensor approach to analyze human biological samples has been demonstrated by directly analyzing and quantifying specific anti-AX antibodies in patient's serum without any sample pretreatment. An excellent limit of detection (LoD) of 0.6ng/mL (i.e. 0.25kU/L) has been achieved in the evaluation of clinical samples evidencing the potential of our nanoplasmonic biosensor as an advanced diagnostic tool to quickly identify allergic patients. The results have been compared and validated with a conventional clinical immunofluorescence assay (ImmunoCAP test), confirming an excellent correlation between both techniques. The combination of a novel compact nanoplasmonic platform and a dendrimer-based strategy provides a highly sensitive label free biosensor approach with over two times better detectability than conventional SPR. Both the biosensor device and the carrier structure hold great potential in clinical diagnosis for biomarker analysis in whole serum samples and other human biological samples.

Keywords: Allergy diagnosis; Dendrimer; Gold nanodisks; IgE quantification; Label-free detection; Nanoplasmonic biosensor; Serum clinical sample.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Amoxicillin / adverse effects
  • Amoxicillin / chemistry
  • Amoxicillin / immunology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / immunology*
  • Dendrimers / chemistry
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / blood*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Equipment Design
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Limit of Detection
  • Nanostructures / chemistry
  • Nylons / chemistry
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance / instrumentation*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Dendrimers
  • Nylons
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Gold
  • Amoxicillin