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Microgravimetric sensors have been developed for detection of insulin by using quartz crystal microbalances as transducers, in combination with sensitive layers. Natural antibodies as coatings were compared with biomimetic materials to fabricate mass-sensitive sensors. For this purpose polyurethane was surface imprinted by insulin, which acts as a synthetic receptor for reversible analyte inclusion. The sensor responses for insulin give a pronounced concentration dependence, with a detection limit down to 1 μg/mL and below. Selectivity studies reveal that these structured polymers lead to differentiation between insulin and glargine. Moreover, antibody replicae were generated by a double imprinting process. Thus, biological recognition capabilities of immunoglobulins are transferred to synthetic polymers. In the first step, natural-immunoglobulin-imprinted nanoparticles were synthesized. Subsequently, these templated particles were utilized for creating positive images of natural antibodies on polymer layers. These synthetic coatings, which are more robust than natural analogues, can be produced in large amount. These biomimetic sensors are useful in the biotechnology of insulin monitoring.


Romana Schirhagl, Usman Latif, Dagmar Podlipna, Hans Blumenstock, Franz L Dickert. Natural and biomimetic materials for the detection of insulin. Analytical chemistry. 2012 May 1;84(9):3908-13

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PMID: 22468696

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