Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


In Situ Single-molecule Detection of Antibody-antigen Binding by Tapping-mode Atomic Force Microscopy

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2002


We performed in situ detection of specific and nonspecific binding during immunoreaction on surfaces at the same location before and after analyte was injected using tapping-mode atomic force microscopy (TM-AFM) in liquid and demonstrated the ability of TM-AFM to monitor the occurrence of single-molecule binding events and to distinguish nonspecific from specific binding by examining topographical change. Two antigen/antibody pairs were investigated:  chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)/mouse monoclonal anti-hCG and goat IgG (anti-intact hCG)/mouse monoclonal anti-goat IgG. Antibody (or antigen) molecules were covalently immobilized on uniform mixed self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) terminated with carboxylic acid and hydroxyl groups. Mixed SAMs allow the control of the density of immobilized antibody (or antigen) on surfaces to achieve the detection of individual antigens, antibodies, and antigen/antibody complexes. This in situ TM-AFM-based detection method allows the single-molecule detection of antigen/antibody binding under near-physiological environment and the distinction of nonspecific from specific binding. It could be extended into a microarray.





First Page


Last Page