Microchimica Acta

, 186:659 | Cite as

Electrochemical thrombin aptasensor based on using magnetic nanoparticles and porous carbon prepared by carbonization of a zinc(II)-2-methylimidazole metal-organic framework

  • Qian Ren
  • Xianzhen Xu
  • Guangping Cao
  • Jianfei XiaEmail author
  • Zonghua Wang
  • Qingyun Liu
Original Paper


A homogeneous electrochemical aptasensor was obtained by modifying a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) with a porous carbon nanomaterial (Z-1000, about 70 nm, deteced by transmission electron microscopic) that was obtained by carbonization of a zinc(II)-2-methylimidazole metal-organic framework. Z-1000 possesses a large specific surface and outstanding electrochemical properties. A thrombin-binding aptamer (CP) was immobilized on the magnetite nanoparticles MNPs by the condensation reaction and further combined with reporter probe (RP) that is functionalized with electroactive methylene blue (MB). In the presence of thrombin, the CP was specifically recognized with it to form the CP/MNP/Thb complex, and the RP was dissociated from MNPs. The released RP was captured by the modified GCE through π-stacking interaction between nucleobases and carbon nanostructure. The electrical signal generated by MB can be monitored by differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). Under the optimized conditions, the DPV peak current at around −0.28 V (vs. SCE) increases with thrombin concentration. The sensor has a detection limit of 0.8 fM of thrombin and a linear range that extends from 10 fM to 100 nM. It was successfully applied to the analysis of spiked serum. The recoveries are 98.1–99.4% and RSDs are 3.9%–4.0%. Conceivably, this aptasensor scheme can be easily extended to other proteins and gives inspiration to manufacture sensitive aptasensor.

Graphical abstract

A homogeneous electrochemical aptasensor is obtained by modifying a glassy carbon electrode with the MOF-derived porous carbon. The sensor has a detection limit of 0.8 fM and a wide linear range from 10 fM to 100 nM for thrombin detection.


Zeolitic imidazolate framework Porous carbon nanostructure Magnetic nanomaterial Electrochemical biosensor Protein detection 



The research is supported from by the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong (ZR2016BM21), the Taishan Scholar Program of Shandong Province (No.ts201511027) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21645007).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

604_2019_3781_MOESM1_ESM.doc (3.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 3424 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shandong Sino-Japanese Center for Collaborative Research of Carbon Nanomaterials, Collaborative Innovation Center for Marine Biomass Fiber Materials and Textiles, Laboratory of Fiber Materials and Modern Textile, the Growing Base for State Key LaboratoryQingdao UniversityQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Environmental EngineeringShandong University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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