PAPER: Effect of serum on an RNA aptamer-based electrochemical sensor for theophylline

Ferapontova, E. E. ; Gothelf, K. V.

Langmuir 2009, 25, 4279–4283, doi: 10.1021/la804309j

Danish National Research Foundation, Centre for DNA Nanotechnology (CDNA), Department of Chemistry and iNANO, The Faculty of Science, Aarhus University, Langelandsgade 140, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark


Electrochemical performance of the ferrocene (Fc) redox-labeled RNA aptamer based sensor for theophylline (Th) is essentially inhibited in serum, but is restored in serum-free buffer solutions. This phenomenon is inconsistent with the data on methylene-blue-labeled aptamer beacon systems, which operational potential window is more negative compared to the Fc redox label. Electrochemical studies with a ferricyanide redox probe, having redox potential close to the Fc redox couple, and interfacial capacitance measurements unambiguously demonstrate that it is adsorption of serum proteins at positively charged electrode surface that slows down the kinetics of the electrode reactions in serum and interferes with the biosensor performance. In filtered serum solutions, in the absence of serum proteins, the Fc-labeled aptamer-based biosensor performed similarly to the pure buffer solutions, ad the signal for Th could be linearly calibrated versus Th concentration. These results on interfacial effects of serum are of particular importance for future research and development of the beacon-type biosensors for in vivo applications.

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