Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science
RESEARCH ARTICLE

A Colorimetric Aptamer Biosensor Based on Gold Nanoparticles for the Ultrasensitive and Specific Detection of Tetracycline in Milk

Lan He A D , Yanfang Luo B , Wenting Zhi C , Yuangen Wu A C and Pei Zhou B E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.

B School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.

C Key Laboratory of Urban Agriculture (South) of Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai 200240, China.

D Bor S. Luh Food Safety Research Center, Shanghai 200240, China.

E Corresponding author. Email: zhoupei@sjtu.edu.cn

Australian Journal of Chemistry 66(4) 485-490 https://doi.org/10.1071/CH12446
Submitted: 27 September 2012  Accepted: 5 December 2012   Published: 13 March 2013

Abstract

This paper proposes a sensing strategy which employs an aptamer, unmodified gold nanoparticles (AuNP), and hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) to detect tetracycline (TET) in raw milk. The method is based on the colorimetric assay of aggregating AuNP. In the absence of TET, the CTAB and aptamer form a complex which allows the aggregation of AuNP. In the presence of TET, the TET aptamer is exhausted first due to the formation of aptamer-TET complexes, which prevents assembly of the CTAB–aptamer supramolecule, causing a colour change and no aggregation of AuNP. This mechanism for the detection of TET proved to be sensitive and convenient. The colorimetric assay has a detection limit of 122 nM TET. This sensor has great potential for the sensitive, colorimetric detection of a wide range of molecular analytes.


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