Label-free detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals by integrating a competitive binding assay with a piezoelectric ceramic resonator

Liang-sheng HU, Chi-Chun FONG, Lan ZOU, Wing-Leung WONG, Kwok-Yin WONG, Shiu Sun Rudolf WU, Mengsu YANG

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A piezoelectric biosensor for detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) was developed by incorporating chemical/biochemical recognition elements on the ceramic resonator surface for competitive binding assays. A facile electrodeposition was employed to modify the sensor surface with Au nanoparticles, which increased the surface area and enhanced the binding capacity of the immobilized probes. Thiol-labeled long chain hydrocarbon with bisphenol A (BPA) as head group was synthesized and self-assembled on the Au nanoparticle surface as the sensing probes, which showed a linear response upon the binding of estrogen receptor (ER-α) ranging from 1 to 30. nM. Detection of estrone, 17β-estradiol and BPA was achieved by integrating a competitive binding assay with the piezoelectric sensor. In this detection scheme, different concentrations of EDCs were incubated with 30. nM of ER-α, and the un-bounded ER-α in the solution was captured by the probes immobilized on the ceramic resonator, which resulted in the frequency changes for different EDCs. The biosensor assay exhibited a linear response to EDCs with a low detection limit of 2.4-2.9. nM ( S/. N=3), and required only a small volume of sample (1.5. μl) with the assay time of 2. h. The performance of the biosensor assay was also evaluated for rapid and facile determination of EDCs of environmental relevant concentrations in drinking water and seawater, and the recovery rate was in the range between 94.7% and 109.8%. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-413
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Early online date09 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2014


Endocrine Disruptors
Competitive Binding
Piezoelectric ceramics
Biosensing Techniques
Estrogen Receptors
Estrogen Receptor alpha
Sulfhydryl Compounds
Chemical elements


Hu, L.-S., Fong, C.-C., Zou, L., Wong, W.-L., Wong, K.-Y., Wu, R. S. S., & Yang, M. (2014). Label-free detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals by integrating a competitive binding assay with a piezoelectric ceramic resonator. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 53, 406-413. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2013.09.068


  • Piezoelectric ceramic biosensor
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • Nanoparticle