Reversible and Highly Ordered Biointerfaces for Efficient Capture and Nondestructive Release of Circulating Tumor Cells

Anal Chem. 2022 Jun 22. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c01743. Online ahead of print.


The engineering strategy of artificial biointerfaces is vital for governing their performances in bioanalysis and diagnosis. Highly ordered arrangement of affinity ligands on the interface surface facilitates efficient interaction with target molecules, whereas biointerfaces aimed at drug delivery or rare cell isolation require sophisticated stimuli-response mechanisms. However, it is still challenging to facilely fabricate biointerfaces possessing the two features. Herein, we endow a biointerface with both reversibility and capability to orderly assemble affinity ligands by introducing boronic acid moieties alone. By boronate conjugation via glycosylation sites, avidin was well arranged at the surface of boronic acid-decorated carbon nitride nanosheets for the assembly of biotinylated aptamers. The ordered orientation of aptamers largely relieved their inactivation caused by inter-strand entanglement, facilitating significant increase in cell affinity for the isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The reversible boronate conjugation also facilitated mild release of CTCs by acid fructose with high cell viability. This engineered interface was capable of isolating CTCs from the peripheral blood of tumor-bearing mice and cancer patients. The successful utilization of the isolated CTCs in the downstream drug susceptibility test and mutation analysis demonstrated the clinical potential of this biointerface for the early diagnosis of cancers and precision medicine.