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    Over the past few decades, colorimetric assays have been developed for cost-effective and rapid on-site urinalysis. Most of these assays were employed for detection of biomarkers such as glucose, uric acid, ions, and albumin that are abundant in urine at micromolar to millimolar levels. In contrast, direct assaying of urinary biomarkers such as glycated proteins, low-molecular-weight reactive oxygen species, and nucleic acids that are present at significantly lower levels (nanomolar to picomolar) remain challenging due to the interferences from the urine sample matrix. State-of-the-art assays for detection of trace amounts of urinary biomarkers typically utilize time-consuming and equipment-dependent sample pretreatment or clean-up protocols prior to assaying, which limits their applicability for on-site analysis. Herein, we report a colorimetric assay for on-site detection of trace amount of generic biomarkers in urine without involving tedious sample pretreatment protocols. The detection strategy is based on monitoring the changes in optical properties of poly(3-(4-methyl-3'-thienyloxy)propyltriethylammonium bromide) upon interacting with an aptamer or a peptide nucleic acid in the presence and absence of target biomarkers of relevance for the diagnosis of metabolic complications and diabetes. As a proof of concept, this study demonstrates facile assaying of advanced glycation end products, 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine and hepatitis B virus DNA in urine samples at clinically relevant concentrations, with limits of detection of ∼850 pM, ∼650 pM, and ∼ 1 nM, respectively. These analytes represent three distinct classes of biomarkers: (i) glycated proteins, (ii) low-molecular-weight reactive oxygen species, and (iii) nucleic acids. Hence, the proposed methodology is applicable for rapid detection of generic biomarkers in urine, without involving sophisticated equipment and skilled personnel, thereby enabling on-site urinalysis. At the end of the contribution, we discuss the opportunity to translate the homogeneous assay into a paper-based format.


    Sanjida Yeasmin, Gopal Ammanath, Yusuf Ali, Bernhard O Boehm, Umit Hakan Yildiz, Alagappan Palaniappan, Bo Liedberg. Colorimetric Urinalysis for On-Site Detection of Metabolic Biomarkers. ACS applied materials & interfaces. 2020 Jul 15;12(28):31270-31281

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    PMID: 32551533

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