Microchimica Acta

, Volume 182, Issue 13–14, pp 2131–2138 | Cite as

Colorimetric method for determination of bisphenol A based on aptamer-mediated aggregation of positively charged gold nanoparticles

  • Jingyue Xu
  • Ying Li
  • Jiaxin Bie
  • Wei Jiang
  • Jiajia Guo
  • Yeli Luo
  • Fei Shen
  • Chunyan SunEmail author
Original Paper


A sensitive, specific and rapid colorimetric aptasensor for the determination of the plasticizer bisphenol A (BPA) was developed. It is based on the use of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) that are positively charged due to the modification with cysteamine which is cationic at near-neutral pH values. If aptamers are added to such AuNPs, aggregation occurs due to electrostatic interactions between the negatively-charged aptamers and the positively-charged AuNPs. This results in a color change of the AuNPs from red to blue. If a sample containing BPA is added to the anti-BPA aptamers, the anti-BPA aptamers undergo folding via an induced-fit binding mechanism. This is accompanied by a conformational change, which prevents the aptamer-induced aggregation and color change of AuNPs. The effect was exploited to design a colorimetric assay for BPA. Under optimum conditions, the absorbance ratio of A 527/A 680 is linearly proportional to the BPA concentration in the range from 35 to 140 ng∙mL−1, with a detection limit of 0.11 ng∙mL−1. The method has been successfully applied to the determination of BPA in spiked tap water and gave recoveries between 91 and 106 %. Data were in full accordance with results obtained from HPLC. This assay is selective, easily performed, and in our perception represents a promising alternative to existing methods for rapid quantification of BPA.

Graphical Abstract

The negatively-charged anti-BPA aptamers can absorb onto the positively-charged cysteamine-capped AuNPs (cysteamine-AuNPs) via electrostatic interactions, which can cause the aggregation of AuNPs accompanied by a red-to-blue color change. In the presence of BPA, the specific binding of BPA to the aptamers induces the conformation changes of anti-BPA aptamers, which can release the aptamers from cysteamine-AuNPs and thus prevent the aggregation and color change of cysteamine-AuNPs.


Bisphenol A Aptamer Colorimetry Gold nanoparticles Electrostatic interactions Cysteamine 



This work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jilin Province (No. 201215024), the Excellent Youth Talent Cultivation Project of Heping Campus of Jilin University, and the Graduate Student Innovation Research Project of Jilin University (No. 2014071).

Supplementary material

604_2015_1547_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 1135 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jingyue Xu
    • 1
  • Ying Li
    • 1
  • Jiaxin Bie
    • 1
  • Wei Jiang
    • 2
  • Jiajia Guo
    • 1
  • Yeli Luo
    • 1
  • Fei Shen
    • 1
  • Chunyan Sun
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Food Quality and SafetyJilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Nutrition and Functional FoodJilin UniversityChangchunChina

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