Microchimica Acta

, 186:230 | Cite as

Portable paper-based colorimetric nanoprobe for the detection of Stachybotrys chartarum using peptide labeled magnetic nanoparticles

  • Ghadeer A. R. Y. SuaifanEmail author
  • Mohammed ZourobEmail author
Original Paper


A colorimetric assay is presented for the detection of Stachybotrys chartarum proteases as biomarkers. The assay comprises a gold film acting as solid support and carrying an immobilized peptide substrate that is specific for S. chartarum protease. The substrate was conjugated to black magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) to form a monolayer on the gold film. Hence, detection nanoprobe is black. If, however, the peptide-MNP fragments are cleaved by S. chartarum proteases present in a sample, the golden color of the detecting nanoprobe becomes apparent so that positive visual readout is enabled. The method was applied to the determination of S. chartarum in (spiked) environmental samples. The limit of detection ranges from 10 to 100 spores·mL−1 depending on the kind of sample (culture, dust, mold and soil). Assay specificity was examined for Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium solani. Penicillin chrysogenum, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and negative readouts were observed visually for all samples, except for those also containing S. chartarum.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of S. chartarum colorimetric nanoprobe.


Stachybotrys atra Stachybotrys alternans Black mold Pathogen detection Magnetic nanoparticles Colorimetric assay Protease peptide substrate 



Prof Ghadeer Suaifan would like to acknowledge the financial funding from the Ministry of Higher education for the Scientific Research Support Fund in Jordan (MPH/1/19/2015) and the Deanship of the Scientific Research (Grant number 1731, 2016) at The University of Jordan.

Compliance with ethical standards

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


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of PharmacyThe University of JordanAmmanJordan
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryAlfaisal UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research CenterRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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