A Gold Nanoparticle-based Aptasensor for Specific Detection of CA125

An Aptasensor for CA125


  • Ghasem Ebrahimi 1-Research Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology, Biomedicine Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran /2-Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Parvin Samadi Pakchin Research Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology, Biomedicine Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Maryam Mousivand Microbial Biotechnology Department, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization, Karaj, Iran
  • Amirabbas Jalili Bolhasani Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Ali Mota Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


Background: In this work, an aptamer-based biosensor was successfully developed based on the salt-induced gold nanoparticle (AuNP) aggregation phenomenon for the detection of carbohydrate antigen 125 (CA125), which is an important tumor marker for ovarian cancer.
Materials and Methods: Citrate-coated AuNPs are relatively highly dispersed NPs. In the presence of different salts, the electrostatic stability of NPs is reduced, and depending on the type of salt and its concentration, different degrees of aggregation occur. On the other hand, the aptamer is easily adsorbed on the AuNP surface and can prevent salt-induced AuNP aggregation. This phenomenon was used in this study to develop a simple biosensor for the detection of CA125.
Results: In the presence of CA125, the aptamer was desorbed from the AuNP surface to bind to its antigen due to the higher affinity, leading to the aggregation of AuNPs and a change in the absorption spectra of the solution. Under the optimum condition, the fabricated aptasensor showed a linear range of 15-160 U/mL with a limit of detection (LOD) of 14.41 U/mL.
Conclusion: The aptasensor exhibited good repeatability with notable selectivity with regard to CA125 detection, even in human serum samples, as compared to the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In conclusion, the engineered aptasensor can serve as a promising tool for the simple, rapid, and cost-effective detection of CA125.


Wang Y, Wu R, Cho KR, Thomas DG, Gossner G, Liu JR et al. Differential Protein Mapping of Ovarian Serous Adenocarcinomas: Identification of Potential Markers for Distinct Tumor Stage. J Proteome Res. 2009;8(3):1452-63.


PMid:19159301 PMCid:PMC2693455

Cramer DW. The epidemiology of endometrial and ovarian cancer. Hematol Oncol Clin. 2012;26(1):1-12.


PMid:22244658 PMCid:PMC3259524

Wulfkuhle JD, Liotta LA, Petricoin EF. Proteomic applications for the early detection of cancer. Nat Rev Cancer. 2003;3(4):267-75.



Ebrahimi G, Pakchin PS, Mota A, Omidian H, Omidi Y. Electrochemical microfluidic paper-based analytical devices for cancer biomarker detection: From 2D to 3D sensing systems. Talanta. 2023:124370.



Zhang B, Cai FF, Zhong XY. An overview of biomarkers for the ovarian cancer diagnosis. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2011;158(2):119-23.



Suh KS, Park SW, Castro A, Patel H, Blake P, Liang M et al. Ovarian cancer biomarkers for molecular biosensors and translational medicine. Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2010;10(8):1069-83.



Perez BH, Gipson IK. Focus on molecules: human mucin MUC16. Exp Eye Res. 2008;87(5):400.


PMid:18289532 PMCid:PMC2586928

Bast Jr RC, Klug TL, John ES, Jenison E, Niloff JM, Lazarus H et al. A radioimmunoassay using a monoclonal antibody to monitor the course of epithelial ovarian cancer. NEJM. 1983;309(15):883-7.



Jin H, Gui R, Gong J, Huang W. Aptamer and 5-fluorouracil dual-loading Ag2S quantum dots used as a sensitive label-free probe for near-infrared photoluminescence turn-on detection of CA125 antigen. Biosens Bioelectron. 2017;92:378-84.



Miralles C, Orea M, Espana P, Provencio M, Sánchez A, Cantos B et al. Cancer antigen 125 associated with multiple benign and malignant pathologies. Ann Surg Oncol. 2003;10:150-4.



Ren X, Wang H, Wu D, Fan D, Zhang Y, Du B et al. Ultrasensitive immunoassay for CA125 detection using acid site compound as signal and enhancer. Talanta. 2015;144:535-41.



Scholler N, Crawford M, Sato A, Drescher CW, O'Briant KC, Kiviat N et al. Bead-based ELISA for validation of ovarian cancer early detection markers. Clin Cancer Res. 2006;12(7):2117-24.


PMid:16609024 PMCid:PMC2734269

Chen Z, Zheng W, Huang P, Tu D, Zhou S, Huang M et al. Lanthanide-doped luminescent nano-bioprobes for the detection of tumor markers. Nanoscale. 2015;7(10):4274-90.



Wang J, Ren J. A sensitive and rapid immunoassay for quantification of CA125 in human sera by capillary electrophoresis with enhanced chemiluminescence detection. Electrophor. 2005;26(12):2402-8.



Shi M, Zhao S, Huang Y, Liu Y-M, Ye F. Microchip fluorescence-enhanced immunoaasay for simultaneous quantification of multiple tumor markers. J Chromatogr B. 2011;879(26):2840-4.



Xu Q, Li J, Li S, Pan H. A highly sensitive electrochemiluminescence immunosensor based on magnetic nanoparticles and its application in CA125 determination. J Solid State Electrochem. 2012;16:2891-8.


Tang M, Wen G, Luo Y, Liang A, Jiang Z. A simple resonance Rayleigh scattering method for determination of trace CA125 using immuno-AuRu nanoalloy as probe via ultrasonic irradiation. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2015;135:1032-8.



Hamd-Ghadareh S, Salimi A, Fathi F, Bahrami S. An amplified comparative fluorescence resonance energy transfer immunosensing of CA125 tumor marker and ovarian cancer cells using green and economic carbon dots for bio-applications in labeling, imaging and sensing. Biosens Bioelectron. 2017;96:308-16.



Pakchin PS, Ghanbari H, Saber R, Omidi Y. Electrochemical immunosensor based on chitosan-gold nanoparticle/carbon nanotube as a platform and lactate oxidase as a label for detection of CA125 oncomarker. Biosens Bioelectron. 2018;122:68-74.



Pakchin PS, Fathi M, Ghanbari H, Saber R, Omidi Y. A novel electrochemical immunosensor for ultrasensitive detection of CA125 in ovarian cancer. Biosens Bioelectron. 2020;153:112029.



Shayesteh OH, Ghavami R. A novel label-free colorimetric aptasensor for sensitive determination of PSA biomarker using gold nanoparticles and a cationic polymer in human serum. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2020;226:117644.



Du G, Zhang D, Xia B, Xu L, Wu S, Zhan S et al. A label-free colorimetric progesterone aptasensor based on the aggregation of gold nanoparticles. Mikrochim Acta. 2016;183:2251-8.


Zheng Y, Wang Y, Yang X. Aptamer-based colorimetric biosensing of dopamine using unmodified gold nanoparticles. Sens Actuators B Chem. 2011;156(1):95-9.


McKeague M, Foster A, Miguel Y, Giamberardino A, Verdin C, Chan JY et al. Development of a DNA aptamer for direct and selective homocysteine detection in human serum. RSC Adv. 2013;3(46):24415-22.


Jazayeri MH, Amani H, Pourfatollah AA, Pazoki-Toroudi H, Sedighimoghaddam B. Various methods of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) conjugation to antibodies. Sens Bio-Sens Res. 2016;9:17-22.


Elahi N, Kamali M, Baghersad MH. Recent biomedical applications of gold nanoparticles: A review. Talanta. 2018;184:537-56.



Bohlouli S, Jafarmadar Gharehbagh F, Dalir Abdolahinia E, Kouhsoltani M, Ebrahimi G, Roshangar L et al. Preparation, characterization, and evaluation of rutin nanocrystals as an anticancer agent against head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell line. J Nanomater. 2021;2021:1-8.


Wu Y-Y, Huang P, Wu F-Y. A label-free colorimetric aptasensor based on controllable aggregation of AuNPs for the detection of multiplex antibiotics. Food Chem. 2020;304:125377.



Bunka DH, Stockley PG. Aptamers come of age-at last. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006;4(8):588-96.



Yoo H, Jo H, Oh SS. Detection and beyond: Challenges and advances in aptamer-based biosensors. Mater Adv. 2020;1(8):2663-87.


Schneidman-Duhovny D, Inbar Y, Nussinov R, Wolfson HJ. PatchDock and SymmDock: servers for rigid and symmetric docking. Nucleic Acids Res. 2005;33(suppl_2):W363-W7.


PMid:15980490 PMCid:PMC1160241

Yang J, Zhang Y. I-TASSER server: new development for protein structure and function predictions. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015;43(W1):W174-W81.


PMid:25883148 PMCid:PMC4489253

Mousivand M, Anfossi L, Bagherzadeh K, Barbero N, Mirzadi-Gohari A, Javan-Nikkhah M. In silico maturation of affinity and selectivity of DNA aptamers against aflatoxin B1 for biosensor development. Anal Chim Acta. 2020;1105:178-86.



Wang Y-K, Zou Q, Sun J-H, Wang H-a, Sun X, Chen Z-F et al. Screening of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) aptamers against a zearalenone monoclonal antibody and development of a ssDNA-based enzyme-linked oligonucleotide assay for determination of zearalenone in corn. J Agric Food Chem. 2015;63(1):136-41.



Chen X, Huang Y, Duan N, Wu S, Ma X, Xia Y et al. Selection and identification of ssDNA aptamers recognizing zearalenone. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2013;405:6573-81.



Lu T, Ma Q, Yan W, Wang Y, Zhang Y, Zhao L et al. Selection of an aptamer against Muscovy duck parvovirus for highly sensitive rapid visual detection by label-free aptasensor. Talanta. 2018;176:214-20.



Marcos-Silva L, Narimatsu Y, Halim A, Campos D, Yang Z, Tarp MA et al. Characterization of binding epitopes of CA125 monoclonal antibodies. J Proteome Res. 2014;13(7):3349-59.








Original Article