Shrink polymer based electrochemical sensor for point-of-care detection of prostate-specific antigen

Wenzheng He, Liying Liu, Zeyuan Cao, Yang Lin, Yuxin Tian, Qifu Zhang, Changdong Zhou, Xiongying Ye, Tianhong Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


There is a growing but unmet need for point-of-care detection of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in body fluid which may facilitate early diagnosis and therapy of prostate cancer in a cost-effective and user-friendly way. Low sensitivity and narrow detection range limits applications of point-of-care testing in practice. Here, an immunosensor is first presented based on shrink polymer and integrated into a miniaturized electrochemical platform for detecting PSA in clinical samples. The sensing electrode was prepared by sputtering a gold film on shrink polymer, followed by heating to shrink the electrode to a small size with wrinkles from nano-scale to micro-scale. These wrinkles can be directly regulated by the thickness of the gold film with high specific areas for enhancement of antigen-antibody binding (3.9 times). A distinct difference between electrochemical active surface area (EASA) and response to PSA of shrink electrodes was observed and discussed. The electrode was treated with air plasma and modified with self-assembled graphene to further enhance the sensor's sensitivity (10.4 times). The shrink sensor with gold 200 nm thick integrated into the portable system was validated by a label-free immunoassay for detection of PSA in 20 μL serum within 35 mins. It exhibited a limit of detection of 0.38 fg/mL, the lowest among label-free PSA sensors, and a wide linear response from 10 fg/mL to 1000 ng/mL. Moreover, the sensor demonstrated reliable assay results in clinical serums, comparable to the commercial chemiluminescence instrument, confirming its feasibility for clinical diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115193
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
StatePublished - May 15 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Biomarkers
  • Electrochemical immunosensor
  • Label-free immunoassay
  • Micro/nano-structures
  • Point-of-care diagnosis
  • Shrink polymer

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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