Real-time detection of mesothelin in pancreatic cancer cell line supernatant using an acoustic wave immunosensor

Christopher D. Corso, Desmond D. Stubbs, Sang Hun Lee, Michael Goggins, Ralph H. Hruban, William D. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: An acoustic wave immunosensor was developed to illustrate the viability of such devices in early detection of molecular cancer biomarkers. The methods described here involve a real-time, less invasive technique for detecting mesothelin, a protein that has been linked to pancreatic and ovarian cancer. Methods: Antibodies were immobilized on the gold surface of the device via a self-assembled alkanethiol monolayer. Supernatant from two different pancreatic cancer cell-lines (PL1 and CAPAN2) containing an unknown concentration of mesothelin was tested for the protein by a flow-through analytical technique in three types of experiments. Binding of the mesothelin to the immobilized antibody layer caused a shift in the device's resonant frequency, which was correlated to the concentration of supernatant. A reference sensor was used to correct for frequency shifts caused by pressure or viscosity effects from the injection of the supernatant solution. Results: Repeated experiments indicate that the sensors are capable of nanogram detection thresholds of mesothelin proteins at room temperature and in complex mixture. Conclusions: Acoustic wave device biosensors have the potential to become a valuable tool in screening for pancreatic as well as other types of cancers. The main features include real-time detection, high sensitivity, and ease of use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-187
Number of pages8
JournalCancer detection and prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Antibody immobilization
  • Biosensor
  • Cancer biomarker detection
  • Mesothelin
  • Oscillator circuits
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Piranha solution
  • QCM-based immunosensors
  • Quartz crystal microbalance
  • Reference sensor
  • Sauerbrey equation
  • Screening patients
  • Uranine soluton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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