This paper describes the fabrication and sensing characteristics of a self-assembled monolayer (SAM)-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) immunosensor for detection of benzaldehyde (BZ). The functional sensing surface was fabricated by the immobilization of a benzaldehyde-ovalbumin conjugate (BZ-OVA) on Au-thiolate SAMs containing carboxyl end groups. Covalent binding of BZ-OVA on SAM was found to be dependent on the composition of the base SAM, and it is improved very much with the use of a mixed monolayer strategy. Based on SPR angle measurements, the functional sensor surface is established as a compact monolayer of BZ-OVA bound on the mixed SAM. The BZ-OVA-bound sensor surface undergoes immunoaffinity binding with anti-benzaldehyde antibody (BZ-Ab) selectively. An indirect inhibition immunoassay principle has been applied, in which analyte benzaldehyde solution was incubated with an optimal concentration of BZ-Ab for 5 min and injected over the sensor chip. Analyte benzaldehyde undergoes immunoreaction with BZ-Ab and makes it inactive for binding to BZ-OVA on the sensor chip. As a result, the SPR angle response decreases with an increase in the concentration of benzaldehyde. The fabricated immunosensor demonstrates a low detection limit (LDL) of 50 ppt (pg mL-1) with a response time of 5 min. Antibodies bound to the sensor chip during an immunoassay could be detached by a brief exposure to acidic pepsin. With this surface regeneration, reusability of the same sensor chip for as many as 30 determination cycles has been established. Sensitivity has been enhanced further with the application of an additional single-step multi-sandwich immunoassay step, in which the BZ-Ab bound to the sensor chip was treated with a mixture of biotin-labeled secondary antibody, streptavidin and biotin-bovine serum albumin (Bio-BSA) conjugate. With this approach, the SPR sensor signal increased by ca. 12 times and the low detection limit improved to 5 ppt with a total response time of no more than ca. 10 min. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
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