Magnetic beads have served as a conventional bioassay platform in biotechnology. In this study, a fully automated immunoassay was performed using novel nano- and microbead-composites constructed by assembling nano-magnetic beads onto polystyrene microbeads, designated 'Beads on Beads'. Nano-sized bacterial magnetic particles (BacMPs) displaying the immunoglobulin G (IgG)-binding domain of protein A (ZZ domain) were used for the construction of 'Beads on Beads' via the interaction of biotin-streptavidin. The efficient assembly of 'Beads on Beads' was performed by gradual addition of biotin-labeled BacMPs onto streptavidin-coated polystyrene microbeads. Approximately 2000 BacMPs were uniformly assembled on a single microbead without aggregation. The constructed 'Beads on Beads' were magnetized and separated from the suspension by using an automated magnetic separation system with a higher efficiency than BacMPs alone. Furthermore, fully automated detection of prostate-specific antigens was performed with the detection limit of 1.48 ng mL-1. From this preliminary assay, it can be seen that 'Beads on Beads' could be a powerful tool in the development of high-throughput, fully automated multiplexed bioassays.
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