Clickable Cellulosic Surfaces for Peptide-Based Bioassays

The use of peptides in paper-based analytics is a highly appealing field, yet it suffers from severe limitations. This is mostly due to the loss of effective target recognition properties of this relatively small bioprobes upon nonspecific adsorption onto cellulose substrates. Here, we address this issue by introducing a simple polymer-based strategy to obtain clickable cellulosic surfaces, that we exploited for the chemoselective bioconjugation of peptide bioprobes. Our method largely outperformed standard adsorption-based immobilization strategy in a challenging, real-case immunoassay, namely the diagnostic discrimination of Zika+ individuals from healthy controls. Of note, the clickable polymeric coating not only allows efficient peptides bioconjugation, but it provides favorable anti-fouling properties to the cellulosic support. We envisage our strategy to broaden the repertoire of cellulosic materials manipulation and promote a renewed interest in peptide-based paper bioassays.