Microchimica Acta

, 186:161 | Cite as

Colorimetric enzymatic determination of glucose based on etching of gold nanorods by iodine and using carbon quantum dots as peroxidase mimics

  • Qingmei Zhong
  • Yuye Chen
  • Xiu Qin
  • Yilin WangEmail author
  • Chunling Yuan
  • Yuanjin Xu
Original Paper


Carbon quantum dots (CQDs) with peroxidase-mimicking activity were successfully prepared from litchi rind. A colorimetric method for glucose determination was developed based on etching of gold nanorods (GNRs) using CQDs as peroxidase mimetic. The glucose oxidase-catalyzed oxidation of glucose leads to the generation of H2O2 which oxidizes added iodide under formation of elemental iodine under the catalytic action of CQDs. Iodine then etches the GNRs along the longitudinal direction due to the higher reaction activities at the tips of GNRs. This results in a stepwise decrease in the maximum absorption wavelength of the GNRs, from initially 953 nm to finally 645 nm. Under the optimized conditions, the shift in the maximum absorption wavelength decreases linearly in the 0.01–2.0 mM glucose concentration range, and the detection limit is 3.0 μM. Importantly, this method was applied to the determination of glucose in human serum. It is perceived that the CQDs are valuable peroxidase mimics due to their ease of preparation, low costs and stable catalytic activity.

Graphical abstract

Carbon quantum dots were prepared from litchi rind. They can induce the oxidation of gold nanorods in the presence of I ions and H2O2. This finding was applied to design a colorimetric assay for glucose.


Spectrophotometry Optical assay Nanomaterial Peroxidase mimetic Glucose oxidase Enzyme mimicking Blood plasma Glucose detection 



The present work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (21567002) and the Opening Project of Guangxi Key Laboratory of Bio Refinery (GXKLB-201801).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2019_3291_MOESM1_ESM.doc (3.4 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 3488 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qingmei Zhong
    • 1
  • Yuye Chen
    • 1
  • Xiu Qin
    • 1
  • Yilin Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chunling Yuan
    • 1
  • Yuanjin Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Guangxi Key Laboratory of BiorefineryGuangxi UniversityNanningChina

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