The label-free detection of cholera toxin is demonstrated using microcantilevers functionalized with ganglioside nanodiscs. The cholera toxin molecules bind specifically to the active membrane protein encased in nanodiscs, nanoscale lipid bilayers surrounded by an amphipathic protein belt, immobilized on the cantilever surface. The specific molecular binding results in cantilever deflection via the formation of a surface stress-induced bending moment. The nanomechanical cantilever response is quantitatively monitored by optical interference. The consistent and reproducible nanomechanical detection of cholera toxin in nanomolar range concentrations is demonstrated. The results validated with such a model system suggest that the combination of a microcantilever platform with receptor nanodiscs is a promising approach for monitoring invasive pathogens and other types of biomolecular detection relevant to drug discovery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering