Aggregation-induced signal amplification strategy based on peptide self-assembly for ultrasensitive electrochemical detection of melanoma biomarker

Liang Yuan, Mengfei Li, Jiaying Li, Tao Feng Zhu*, Mingdong Dong, Lei Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The detection of melanoma circulating biomarker in liquid biopsies is current under evaluation for being potentially utilized for earlier cancer diagnosis and its metastasis. Herein, we developed a non-invasive electrochemical approach for ultrasensitive detection of the S100B, serving as a potential promising blood circulating biomarker of melanoma, based on an aggregation-induced signal amplification (AISA) strategy via in-situ peptide self-assembly. The fundamental principle of this assay is that the designed amphiphilic peptides (C16-Pep-Fc), fulfilling multiple functions, feature both a recognition region for specific binding to S100B and an aggregation (self-assembly) region for the formation of peptide nanomicelles under mild conditions. The C16 tails were encapsulated within the hydrophobic core of the aggregates, while the relatively hydrophilic recognition fragment Pep and Fc tag were exposed on the outer surface for subsequent recognition of S100B and signal output. AISA provided remarkable accumulation of electroactive Fc moieties that enabled ultrasensitive S100B detection of as low as 0.02 nM, which was 10-fold lower than un-amplified approach and better than previously reported assays. As a proof-of-concept study, further experiments also highlighted the good reproducibility and stability of AISA and demonstrated its usability when applied to simulated serum samples. Hence, this work not only presented a valuable assay tool for ultrasensitive detecting protein biomarker, but also advocated for the utilization of aggregation-induced signal amplification in electrochemical biosensing system, given its considerable potential for future practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number342214
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2024


  • Aggregation-induced signal amplification
  • Electrochemical biosensing
  • Peptides
  • S100B
  • Self-assembly
  • Ultrasensitive detection


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