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A photoelectrochemical aptasensor based on p-n heterojunction CdS-Cu2O nanorod arrays with enhanced photocurrent for the detection of prostate-specific antigen


A sensitive photoelectrochemical (PEC) aptasensor was constructed for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) detection using an enhanced photocurrent response strategy. The p-n heterostructure CdS-Cu2O nanorod arrays were prepared on Ti mesh (CdS-Cu2O NAs/TM) by a simple hydrothermal method and successive ionic-layer adsorption reactions. Compared with the original CdS/TM, the synergistic effect of p-n type CdS-Cu2O NAs/TM and the internal electric field realizes the effective separation of photoinduced electron–hole pairs and improves the PEC performance. In order to construct the aptasensor, an amino-modified aptamer was immobilized on CdS-Cu2O NAs/TM to serve as a recognition unit for PSA. After the introduction of PSA, PSA was specifically captured by the aptamer on the PEC aptasensor, which can be oxidized by photogenerated holes to prevent electron–hole recombination and increase photocurrent. Under optimal conditions, the constructed PEC aptasensor has a linear range of 0.1–100 ng·mL−1 and a detection limit as low as 0.026 ng·mL−1. The results of aptasensor detection of human serum indicate that it has broad application prospects in biosensors and photoelectrochemical analysis.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21775089, 21671118), Outstanding Youth Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2017JL010), the Key Research and Development Program of Jining City (2018ZDGH032) and Taishan scholar of Shandong Province.

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Correspondence to Fengli Qu or Limin Lu.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical committee approval

Human serum sample experiments were conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the Ethics Committee of Qufu Normal University. All studies were approved by the Ethics Committee of Qufu Normal University. We have obtained informed consent for any experiments with human serum samples.

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Kong, W., Qu, F. & Lu, L. A photoelectrochemical aptasensor based on p-n heterojunction CdS-Cu2O nanorod arrays with enhanced photocurrent for the detection of prostate-specific antigen. Anal Bioanal Chem 412, 841–848 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-019-02283-2

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  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • CdS-Cu2O nanorod arrays
  • Photoelectrochemical aptasensor
  • Signal amplification