Microchimica Acta

, Volume 184, Issue 5, pp 1397–1403 | Cite as

Aptasensor for lead(II) based on the use of a quartz crystal microbalance modified with gold nanoparticles

Original Paper


The authors describe a quartz crystal microbalance based aptasensor for the determination of Pb2+. In order to enhance its response, oligonucleotide-embellished gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were used to amplify the frequency changes. The method is based on the use of specific aptamers immobilized on the surface of the quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and the binding of Pb2+, which prevents the self-assembly of the AuNPs on the QCM. Trace concentrations of Pb2+ can be determined by monitoring the change in the response frequency of the QCM. The method has a 4 nmol∙L−1 detection limit and works in the 5 to 200 nmol∙L−1 Pb2+ concentration range. This aptasensor also shows adequate selectivity for Pb2+ over potentially interfering metal ions.

Graphical abstract

Schematic of the assay. The specific aptamer SAP does not readily combine with its partial complementary strand CSAP in the presence of Pb(II) ion. Thus, the mass change on the crystal is inversely proportional to the concentration of Pb(II).


Determination of lead ion Aptamer Piezoelectric biosensor Gold nanoparticles Signal amplification 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61501295 and No. 31671934), Shanghai Committee of Science and Technology (Grant No.15YF1408000).

Compliance with ethical standards

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


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Food Quality and SafetyUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Food MicrobiologyUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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