Direct Measurement of a Biomarker's Native Optimal Frequency with Physical Adsorption Based Immobilization

Mackenzie M. Honikel, Chi En Lin, Brittney A. Cardinell, Jeffrey LaBelle, Andrew D. Penman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The optimal frequency (OF) of a biomarker in electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is the frequency at which the EIS response best reflects the binding of the biomarker to its molecular recognition element. Commonly, biosensors rely on complicated immobilization chemistry to attach biological molecules to the sensor surface, making the direct study of a biomarker's native OF a challenge. Physical adsorption presents a simple immobilization strategy to study the native biomarker's OF, but its utility is often discouraged due to a loss in biological activity. To directly study a biomarker's native OF and investigate the potential of OF to overcome the limitations of physical adsorption, a combination of EIS and glutaraldehyde-mediated physical adsorption was explored. The experimental sensing platform was prepared by immobilizing either anti-lactoferrin (Lfn) IgG or anti-immunoglobulin E (IgE) onto screen printed carbon electrodes. After characterizing the native OFs of both biomarkers, investigation of the platform's specificity, stability, and performance in complex medium was found to be sufficient. Finally, a paper-based tear sampling component was integrated to transform the testing platform into a prototypical point-of-care dry eye diagnostic. The investigation of native OFs revealed a correlation between the native OFs (57.44 and 371.1 Hz for Lfn and IgE, respectively) and the molecular weight of the antibody-antigen complex. Impedance responses at the native OFs have enabled detection limits of 0.05 mg/mL and 40 ng/mL for Lfn and IgE, respectively, covering the clinically relevant ranges. The native OFs were found to be robust across various testing mediums and conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-831
Number of pages9
JournalACS sensors
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 27 2018


  • dry eye
  • electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • glutaraldehyde immobilization
  • integrated sensor
  • optimal frequency
  • point-of-care
  • tear sampling component

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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