Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 409, Issue 22, pp 5359–5371 | Cite as

Fast detection of Listeria monocytogenes through a nanohybrid quantum dot complex

  • Wendy Donoso
  • Ricardo I. Castro
  • Luis Guzmán
  • Zoraya López-Cabaña
  • Fabiane M. Nachtigall
  • Leonardo S. Santos
Research Paper


Listeria monocytogenes is a recognized foodborne pathogen that causes listeriosis in susceptible consumers. Currently, the detection systems for Listeria in food detect live and dead bacteria, being the viable microorganisms most relevant for their ability to cause sickness in the population at risk. For this reason, a new nanohybrid compound was developed for the optical detection of Listeria that was based on polyamidoamine dendrimers functionalized with an auxotrophic cofactor (lipoic acid), together with the coupling of fluorescent semiconductor crystals (quantum dots). The nanohybrid sensor has a detection limit for viable L. monocytogenes of 5.19 × 103 colony-forming units per milliliter under epifluorescence microscopy. It was specific when used among other pathogens commonly found in food.


Dendrimers Listeria monocytogenes Optical detection Quantum dots 



L.G. and L.S.S. thank FONDECYT (FONDECYT Initiation no. 11150390 and Regular no. 1140642). Additional financial support from PIEI (QUI-BIO) from Universidad de Talca is greatly acknowledged. 

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


L.S.S. and W.D. conceived and designed the experiments; R.I.C., L.G., F.M.N., and Z.L.C. performed research and analyzed the data. All authors analyzed and interpreted data, drafted the paper, and read and approved the final manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Donoso
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ricardo I. Castro
    • 3
  • Luis Guzmán
    • 4
  • Zoraya López-Cabaña
    • 5
  • Fabiane M. Nachtigall
    • 6
  • Leonardo S. Santos
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Asymmetric Synthesis, Institute of Chemistry and Natural ResourcesUniversity of TalcaTalcaChile
  2. 2.Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of TalcaTalcaChile
  3. 3.Instituto de Ciencias BiomédicasUniversidad Autónoma de ChileTalcaChile
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Immunohematology, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of TalcaTalcaChile
  5. 5.Institute of Chemistry and Natural ResourcesUniversity of TalcaTalcaChile
  6. 6.Instituto de Innovación Basada en CienciasUniversity of TalcaTalcaChile

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