Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 409, Issue 4, pp 1093–1100 | Cite as

A plasmonic ELISA for the naked-eye detection of chromium ions in water samples

  • Cuize Yao
  • Shiting Yu
  • Xiuqing Li
  • Ze Wu
  • Jiajie Liang
  • Qiangqiang Fu
  • Wei Xiao
  • Tianjiu Jiang
  • Yong Tang
Research Paper


Here, we describe the development of a triangular silver nanoprism (AgNPR) etching-based plasmonic ELISA for the colorimetric determination of Cr(III) levels in environmental water samples. This involved the creation of a novel signal generation system (substrate reaction solution) for a competitive ELISA in which hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is used to etch triangular AgNPRs, inducing a change in color. This is achieved by controlling the H2O2 concentration that remains after degradation by catalase, which is conjugated to the secondary antibody of the ELISA. Because the degree of color change and the shift in the absorption spectrum of the substrate reaction solution are closely correlated with the Cr(III) concentration, this plasmonic ELISA can be used not only for the quantification of Cr(III) concentrations ranging from 3.13 to 50 ng/mL, with a limit of detection (LOD) of 3.13 ng/mL, but also for the visual detection (indicated by a color change from blue to mauve) of Cr(III) with a sensitivity of 6.25 ng/mL by the naked eye. Therefore, the plasmonic ELISA developed in this work represents a new strategy for heavy metal ion detection and has high potential applicability in resource-constrained areas.

Graphical Abstract

Schematic diagram of triangular silver nanoprism etching-based signal generation system


Triangular silver nanoprism Colorimetric Plasmonic ELISA Chromium ion 



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0500600), the Technology Research Program of Guangzhou City (201508020100), the Technology Research Program of Guangdong Province (2013B010404027), and the Guangdong Innovative and Entrepreneurial Research Team Program (201301S0105240297). This manuscript was edited and proof-read by NPG Language Editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2016_28_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (189 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 188 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cuize Yao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shiting Yu
    • 1
  • Xiuqing Li
    • 1
  • Ze Wu
    • 1
  • Jiajie Liang
    • 1
  • Qiangqiang Fu
    • 1
  • Wei Xiao
    • 1
  • Tianjiu Jiang
    • 3
  • Yong Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bioengineering, Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Molecular Immunology and Antibody EngineeringJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Medical Genetic CentreGuangdong Women and Children HospitalGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Aquatic Eutrophication and Control of Harmful Algal Blooms of Guangdong Higher Education InstituteJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina

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