Spectrofluorometric determination of berberine using a novel Au nanocluster with large Stokes shift
Berberine hydrochloride (BHC), a natural isoquinoline alkaloid, is widely applied as a an agent in traditional Chinese medicine. Almost all the traditional methods for BHC detection require complicated preprocessing steps or expensive instruments. In this article, we report a simple, rapid, sensitive, and selective method for BHC detection using fluorescent gold nanoclusters (F-AuNCs) as the fluorescent probe with a large Stokes shift of 237 nm. The F-AuNCs prepared with citrate-stabilized stannous chloride and hydrogen tetrachloroaurate(III) as raw materials in an aqueous medium display strong and stable fluorescence at 566 nm. When F-AuNCs are mixed with BHC, the fluorescence of F-AuNCs is effectively quenched. Under optimized conditions, this method allows sensitive and selective measurements of BHC in a concentration ranging from 1.0 × 10-6 to 1.0 × 10-4 mol L-1 with a detection limit of 7.5 × 10-8 mol L-1, which is relatively low among reported spectral methods. This method provides excellent selectivity for the detection of BHC against inorganic anions and natural amino acids. In addition, the BHC content in two different types of berberine tablets was successfully determined by this method and the results showed high accuracy.
KeywordsBerberine hydrochloride Gold nanoclusters Fluorescent Stokes shift
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos 51502088, 21275047, 21445008), the Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (nos 2016JJ3058, 2016JJ5005), the Research Foundation of Education Department of Hunan Province (no. 17B091), the Graduate Innovation Project of the Hunan University of Science and Technology (CX2017B619), and the Foundation of Science and Technology on Transient Impact Laboratory (No. 614260601010317).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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