Europium(III) modified silicone nanoparticles for ultrasensitive visual determination of tetracyclines by employing a fluorescence color switch
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Silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs) modified with Eu(III) were synthesized and are shown to be a viable ratiometric fluorescent probe for tetracycline antibiotics. SiNPs/Eu under 405 nm excitation display two emissions, viz. a strong cyan colored fluorescence peaking at 497 nm and a weak pink fluorescence peaking at 622 nm. On addition of tetracyclines (chlortetracycline, tetracycline, doxycycline), the fluorescence at 497 nm is reduced, while the one at 622 nm is increased. Thus, the visible color of fluorescence changes from cyan to pink. This was exploited to design ratiometric fluorometric method for detecting tetracyclines. The method has a limit of detection that is lower by a factor of about 1000 when compared to the use of SiNPs only. A test paper was prepared with the SiNPs/Eu and then applied for the visual semi-quantitative detection of tetracyclines. With the addition of tetracyclines, the test paper exhibited a dosage-sensitive color conversion from cyan to pink with a visually discernible scale as low as 0.4 μM.
KeywordsDouble emission Inner filter effect Antenna effect Chlortetracycline Tetracycline Doxycycline Test paper Semi-quantitative detection
The work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21575043, 21275056, 21605052, 51478196); and the Platform Construction Project of Guangzhou Science Technology and Innovation Commission (No. 15180001).
Compliance with ethical standards
The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.
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