Journal of Virology
Prion diseases are associated with the presence of PrP(Sc), a disease-associated misfolded conformer of the prion protein. We report that superparamagnetic nanoparticles bind PrP(Sc) molecules efficiently and specifically, permitting magnetic separation of prions from a sample mixture. Captured PrP(Sc) molecules retain the activity to seed protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) reactions, enabling the rapid concentration of dilute prions to improve detection. Furthermore, superparamagnetic nanoparticles clear contaminated solutions of PrP(Sc). Our findings suggest that coupling magnetic nanoparticle capture with PMCA could accelerate and improve prion detection. Magnetic nanoparticles may also be useful for developing a nontoxic prion decontamination method for biologically derived products.
Miller, Michael B. and Supattapone, Surachai, "Superparamagnetic Nanoparticle Capture of Prions for Amplification" (2011). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 1211.