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A handheld platform for target protein detection and quantification using disposable nanopore strips

Morin, TJ;McKenna, WL;Shropshire, TD;Wride, DA;Deschamps, JD;Liu, X;Stamm, R;Wang, H;Dunbar, WB;

Accessible point-of-care technologies that can provide immunoassay and molecular modalities could dramatically enhance diagnostics, particularly for infectious disease control in low-resource settings. Solid-state nanopores are simple and durable sensors with low-energy instrumentation requirements. While nanopore sensors have demonstrated efficacy for nucleic acid targets, selective detection and quantification of target proteins from sample background has not been demonstrated. We present a simple approach for electronic detection and quantification of target proteins that combines novel biomolecular engineering methods, a portable reader device and disposable nanopore test strips. The target of interest can be varied by swapping the binding domain on our engineered detection reagent, which eficiently binds in the bulk-phase to the target and subsequently generates a unique signature when passing through the pore. We show modularity of the detection reagent for two HIV antibodies, TNF and tetanus toxin as targets. A saliva swab-to-result is demonstrated for clinically relevant HIV antibody levels (0.4-20mg/liter) in under 60seconds. While other strip-like assays are qualitative, the presented method is quantitative and sets the stage for simultaneous immunoassay and molecular diagnostic functionality within a single portable platform.