Microchimica Acta

, 186:2 | Cite as

Improved performance of lateral flow immunoassays for alpha-fetoprotein and vanillin by using silica shell-stabilized gold nanoparticles

  • Xuewen Lu
  • Ting mei
  • Qi Guo
  • Wenjing Zhou
  • Xiaomei Li
  • Jitao Chen
  • Xinke ZhouEmail author
  • Ning SunEmail author
  • Zhiyuan FangEmail author
Original Paper


The sensitivity of lateral flow assays (LFA) was increased 30-fold by making use of spherical core-shell gold-silica nanoparticles (AuNP@SiO2 NPs). They can be prepared by silylation of surfactant stabilized AuNPs. The AuNP@SiO2 NPs are highly stable and can be used to label antibodies at virtually any concentration. The detection limit of an LFA for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) can be decreased from 10 ng·mL−1 to 300 pg·mL−1 which makes it comparable to an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. To demonstrate the applicability to an immunoassay, a sandwich assay was developed for vanillin by covalent modification of the AuNP@SiO2 NPs with antibody. By using the method, vanillin can be detected visually in milk powder samples in concentrations as low as 100 ng·g−1. With unique optical property and great stability, this AuNP@SiO2 endows great potential in biosensing applications.

Graphical abstract

Controlled growth of AuNP@SiO2. The newly prepared AuNP has a negative hydration layer. This layer is further surrounded by a bilayer of CTAB through electrostatic attraction. The hydrophobic inner layer enables the access and assembling of APTES and MTTS. After the hydrolysis of siloxane, a thin layer of silica shell is formed around AuNP.


Core-shell gold nanoparticle AFP Vanillin Lateral flow assay 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81602608, 21402204 and 31671933, 81703333), Nanshan Scholar Program of Guangzhou Medical University (B185006006008 and B185006006009), Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong (020204003).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2018_3107_MOESM1_ESM.docx (322 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 322 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and HealthChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Zhongshan Ophthalmic CenterSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Clinical Trials CenterHong Kong University-ShenZhen hospitalShenzhenChina

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