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Micro- or nanometer sized magnetic particles (beads) currently have a vast range of life science applications in, for example, bioseparation techniques, cancer therapy, development of contrast agents and biosensing techniques. In the latter field, magnetic beads offer several unique advantages, including minimal background signals, physical and chemical stability and low manufacturing costs. Because of these properties, magnetic biosensing techniques are potential candidates for low-cost, easy-to-use molecular diagnostic devices. This doctoral thesis focuses mainly on the proof of principle and further development of a new magnetic biosensor platform for detection of DNA targets, a potential candidate for a new generation of low-cost, easy-to-use diagnostic devices: the Volume-Amplified Magnetic Nanobead Detection Assay (VAM-NDA). The VAM-NDA principle combines target recognition by padlock probe ligation followed by rolling circle amplification (RCA) of the reacted probes with changes in Brownian relaxation behaviour of magnetic nanobeads (typically ~100 nm in diameter) induced by a change in hydrodynamic bead volume. More specifically, the RCA products (coils, typically ~1 μm in diameter) are detected magnetically by adding magnetic beads tagged with detection probes complementary to part of the repeating RCA-coil sequence. Thus, depending on the target concentration, a certain quantity of beads binds to the coils by base-pair hybridisation (bead immobilisation), resulting in a dramatic bead volume increase, which is then detected by measuring the complex magnetisation spectrum. Use of a commercial SQUID magnetometer for measuring complex magnetisation resulted in a detection limit in the low pM range for DNA targets with excellent quantification accuracy. Simultaneous multiplexing was also evaluated. The stability and aging of typical commercial ferrofluids (suspensions of magnetic beads) were investigated by measuring the complex magnetisation of and interbead interactions in oligonucleotide-functionalised ferrofluids. In summary, the bead surface characteristics were found to have a strong impact on the measured dynamic magnetic properties.