Integrated Poly(dimethysiloxane) with an Intrinsic Nonfouling Property Approaching “Absolute” Zero Background in Immunoassays

The key to achieve a highly sensitive and specific protein microarray assay is to prevent nonspecific protein adsorption to an “absolute” zero level because any signal amplification method will simultaneously amplify signal and noise. Here, we develop a novel solid supporting material, namely, polymer coated initiator integrated poly(dimethysiloxane) (iPDMS), which was able to achieve such “absolute” zero (i.e., below the detection limit of instrument). The implementation of this iPDMS enables practical and high-quality multiplexed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of 11 tumor markers. This iPDMS does not need any blocking steps and only require mild washing conditions. It also uses on an average 8-fold less capture antibodies compared with the mainstream nitrocellulose (NC) film. Besides saving time and materials, iPDMS achieved a limit-of-detection (LOD) as low as 19 pg mL−1, which is sufficiently low for most current clinical diagnostic applications. We expect to see an immediate impact of this iPDMS on the realization of the great potential of protein microarray in research and practical uses such as large scale and high-throughput screening, clinical diagnosis, inspection, and quarantine.