Micropatterned surfaces functionalized with electroactive peptides for detecting protease release from cells

Dong Sik Shin, Ying Liu, Yandong Gao, Timothy Kwa, Zimple Matharu, Alexander Revzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) regulate composition of the extracellular matrix and play a critical role in cancer, fibrosis, and wound healing. This article describes a novel peptide-based electrochemical biosensor for detecting activity of cell-secreted protease MMP9. In this sensing strategy, a peptide specific to MMP9 was modified with a redox label (methylene blue (MB)) and immobilized on microfabricated 300 μm diameter Au electrodes. Challenging the electrodes with known concentrations of MMP9 resulted in the cleavage of the MB containing peptide fragment and caused a decrease in electrical signal measured by square wave voltammetry (SWV). The limit of detection for MMP9 was determined to be 60 pM with a linear range extending to 50 nM. In preparation to detect cell-secreted MMP9, glass surfaces with Au electrode arrays were further micropatterned with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) gel to define annular cell adhesive regions next to electrodes and render the remainder of the surface nonfouling. The surfaces were further modified with CD14 antibody to promote attachment of monocytes. The peptide-modified electrode arrays were integrated into PDMS microfluidic devices and incubated with U-937 cells, transformed monocytes known to produce MMPs. These studies revealed a 3-fold higher electrochemical signal from ∼400 activated monocytes after 10 min activation compared to nonactivated monocytes. Whereas this article focuses on MMP9 detection, the general strategy of employing redox-labeled peptides on electrodes should be broadly applicable for detection of other proteases and should have clinical as well as basic science applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-227
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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