Microchimica Acta

, 186:233 | Cite as

A fluorometric turn-on aptasensor for mucin 1 based on signal amplification via a hybridization chain reaction and the interaction between a luminescent ruthenium(II) complex and CdZnTeS quantum dots

  • Zheng Li
  • Guobin Mao
  • Mingyuan Du
  • Songbai Tian
  • Longqing Niu
  • Xinghu Ji
  • Zhike HeEmail author
Original Paper


A fluorometric method is described for the determination of the tumor biomarker mucin 1 (MUC1). It is based on signal amplification of the hybridization chain reaction (HCR), and the interaction between a luminescent ruthenium(II) complex and CdZnTeS quantum dots (QDs). If MUC1 bind to the biotin-labeled aptamer, it will initiate HCR with hairpins H1 and H2 to form a long-range dsDNA. The long nucleic acid chains are then linked on the surface of streptavidin-modified magnetic microparticles (MMPs) through streptavidin-biotin interaction. The luminescent ruthenium(II) complex is then embedded in the long dsDNA linked to the MMPs. Hence, there is little Ru complex in the supernatant after magnetic separation, and the fluorescence of the CdZnTeS QDs (best measured at excitation/emission wavelengths of 350/530 nm) is only slightly quenched. In the absence of target, the fluorescence of the CdZnTeS QDs is strongly quenched. Fluorescence increases linearly in the 0.2–100 ng·mL−1 MUC1 concentration range, and the LOD is 0.13 ng·mL−1 (at S/N = 3). The method was applied to the determination of MUC1 in spiked human serum samples.

Graphical abstract

A fluorometric turn-on aptasensor for mucin 1 is described that is based on the interaction between a Ru(II) complex and quantum dots (QDs). The detection system includes biotin-labeled aptamer-H0, hairpins H1 and H2, streptavidin-modified magnetic microparticles (MMPs), Ru(bpy)2(dppx)2+ and CdZnTeS QDs.


Mucin 1 aptamer Quenching HCR amplification Magnetic microparticles 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21675119) and National Major Science and Technology Projects (2018ZX10301405).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2019_3347_MOESM1_ESM.doc (122 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 122 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zheng Li
    • 1
  • Guobin Mao
    • 1
  • Mingyuan Du
    • 1
  • Songbai Tian
    • 1
  • Longqing Niu
    • 1
  • Xinghu Ji
    • 1
  • Zhike He
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine (Ministry of Education), College of Chemistry and Molecular SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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