Bacillus anthracis is a bioterrorism agent classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Herein, a novel electrochemical immunosensor for the sensitive, specific and easy detection of anthrax protective antigen (PA) toxin in picogram concentration was developed. The immunosensor consists of (i) a Nafion-multiwall carbon nanotubes-bismuth nanocomposite film modified glassy carbon electrodes (BiNPs/Nafion-MWCNTs/GCE) as a sensing platform and (ii) titanium phosphate nanoparticles-cadmium ion-mouse anti-PA antibodies (TiP-Cd(2+)-MαPA antibodies) as signal amplification tags. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX), thermogravimmetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform-infra red spectroscopy (FT-IR), zeta-potential analysis, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) were employed to characterize the synthesized TiP nanoparticles and modified electrode surfaces. The immunosensing performance of BiNPs/Nafion-MWCNTs/GCE was evaluated based on sandwich immunoassay protocol. A square wave voltammetry (SWV) scan from -1.2 to -0.3 V in HAc-NaAc buffer solution (pH 4.6) without stripping process was performed to record the electrochemical responses at -0.75 V corresponding to high content of Cd(2+) ions loaded in TiP nanoparticles for the measurement of PA toxin. Under optimal conditions, the currents increased with increasing PA toxin concentrations in spiked human serum samples and showed a linear range from 0.1 ng/ml to 100 ng/ml. The limit of detection of developed immunosensor was found to be 50 pg/ml at S/N=3. The total time of analysis was 35 min.
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