Aptamer-based cocaine assay using a nanohybrid composed of ZnS/Ag2Se quantum dots, graphene oxide and gold nanoparticles as a fluorescent probe.Mikrochim Acta. 2020 01 08; 187(2):104.MA
Authors report on a new fluoro-graphene-plasmonic nanohybrid aptamer-based fluorescent nanoprobe for cocaine. To construct the nanoprobe, newly synthesized glutathione-capped ZnS/Ag2Se quantum dots (QDs) were first conjugated to graphene oxide (GO) to form a QD-GO nanocomposite. The binding interaction resulted in a fluorescence turn-ON. Thereafter, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were directly adsorbed on the QD-GO nanocomposite to form a novel QD-GO-CTAB-AuNP nanohybrid assembly that resulted in a fluorescence turn-OFF. Streptavidin (strep) was then adsorbed on the QDs-GO-CTAB-AuNP nanohybrid assembly which allowed binding to a biotinylated MNS 4.1 anticocaine DNA aptamer (B) receptor. The addition of cocaine into the strep-B-QDs-GO-CTAB-AuNP aptamer nanoprobe system aided affinity to the aptamer receptor and in turn turned on the fluorescence of the nanoprobe in a concentration-dependent manner. Under optimum experimental conditions, we found the strep-B-QD-GO-CTAB-AuNP to be far superior in its sensitivity to cocaine than the tested strep-B-QDs (no GO and CTAB-AuNPs), strep-B-QD-CTAB-AuNP (no GO) and strep-B-QD-GO (no CTAB-AuNP). In addition, the investigation of localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) amplified signal from tested plasmonic NPs shows that CTAB-AuNPs was far superior in amplifying the fluorescence signal of the nanoprobe. A detection limit of 4.6 nM (1.56 ng.mL-1), rapid response time (~2 min) and excellent selectivity against other drugs, substances and cocaine metabolites was achieved. The strep-B-QD-GO-CTAB-AuNP aptamer-based fluorescent nanoprobe was successfully applied for the determination of cocaine in seized adulterated cocaine samples. Graphical abstractSchematic representation of the streptavidin-biotin-quantum dot-graphene oxide-cetyltrimethylammonium bromide-gold nanoparticle aptamer-based fluorescent nanoprobe for cocaine.