Biosensors (Basel). 2022 Oct 4;12(10):825. doi: 10.3390/bios12100825.
Food allergies are adverse health effects that arise from specific immune responses, occurring upon exposure to given foods, even if present in traces. Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies, mainly caused by egg white proteins, with ovalbumin being the most abundant. As allergens can also be present in foodstuff due to unintended contamination, there is a need for analytical tools that are able to rapidly detect allergens in food products at the point-of-use. Herein, we report an origami paper-based device for detecting ovalbumin in food samples, based on a competitive immunoassay with chemiluminescence detection. In this biosensor, magnetic microbeads have been employed for easy and efficient immobilization of ovalbumin on paper. Immobilized ovalbumin competes with the ovalbumin present in the sample for a limited amount of enzyme-labelled anti-ovalbumin antibody. By exploiting the origami approach, a multistep analytical procedure could be performed using reagents preloaded on paper layers, thus providing a ready-to-use immunosensing platform. The assay provided a limit of detection (LOD) of about 1 ng mL-1 for ovalbumin and, when tested on ovalbumin-spiked food matrices (chocolate chip cookies), demonstrated good assay specificity and accuracy, as compared with a commercial immunoassay kit.