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A novel electrochemical mast cell-based paper biosensor for the rapid detection of milk allergen casein

Jiang, Donglei, Ge, Panwei, Wang, Lifeng, Jiang, Hui, Yang, Ming, Yuan, Limin, Ge, Qingfeng, Fang, Weiming, Ju, Xingrong
Biosensors & bioelectronics 2019 v.130 pp. 299-306
allergens, biocompatibility, biosensors, casein, composite materials, dose response, electrical conductivity, electrochemistry, food safety, gelatin, graphene, leukemia, mast cells, milk, nanofibers, paper, point-of-care testing, rapid methods, rats
Developing low-cost, portable and simple analysis tools is of vital importance for food safety point-of-care testing. Therefore, herein, a new low-cost, simple to fabricate, disposable, electrochemical mast cell-based paper sensor is proposed and developed to sensitively determine the major milk allergen casein. Then, a graphene (GN)/carbon nanofiber (CN)/ Gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) composite material with high conductivity and good biocompatibility was modified on the cell-based paper sensor to improve the electrical conductivity and provide a sensing recognition interface for the immobilization of rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-2H3) mast cells. The cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry measurement of the mast cells in the paper sensor revealed an irreversible anodic peak, whose peak current is proportional to the number of cells in the range from 1 × 102 to 1 × 108 cells/mL. For the milk allergen detection tests, mast cells exposed to the casein caused a significant reduction in the current signal, displaying an inverse dose-dependent relationship. The developed cell sensor exhibited a range of linearity between 1 × 10−7 and 1 × 10−6 g/mL of casein with a detection limit of 3.2 × 10−8 g/mL and a great reproducibility and selectivity. The electrochemical responses obtained using the cell-based paper sensor were well consistent with the conventional detection assay, with good stability and reproducibility. Therefore, a simple and novel electrochemical method for food allergens detection was developed, demonstrating its potential application in the food safety determination and evaluation.