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Aptamer based electrochemiluminescent thrombin assay using carbon dots anchored onto silver-decorated polydopamine nanospheres

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Abstract

An electrochemiluminescent (ECL) aptamer based assay is described for thrombin. It is based on the use of carbon dots (C-dots) placed on polydopamine nanospheres loaded with silver nanoparticles (PDANS@Ag) and with probe DNA (pDNA). The PDANS possess high specific surface and can load a large number of C-dots. The AgNPs, in turn, enhance the ECL emission of the C-dots. Platinum functionalized graphene (Gr-Pt) can connect capture DNA (cDNA). The ECL nanoprobe consisting of PDANS@Ag/C-dots was placed on a glassy carbon electrode modified with Gr-Pt/cDNA/BSA via hybridization between cDNA and pDNA. On applying voltages from −1.8 V to 0 V, a strong ECL signal is generated. If thrombin is added, it will bind to cDNA. This leads to the release of pDNA from the electrode surface and a decrease in ECL intensity. Response to thrombin is linear in the 1.0 fmol·L−1 to 5.0 nmol·L−1 concentration range, with a 0.35 fmol·L−1 detection limit. The assay is stable, repeatable and selective, which demonstrates its clinical applicability.

Carbon dots (C-dots) placed on polydopamine nanospheres loaded with silver nanoparticles (PDANS@Ag) for electrochemiluminescent (ECL) detection of thrombin.

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Acknowledgements

This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21675063), the Science and Technology Planning Project of Higher Education of Shandong Province (J16LC23) and Q. Wei thanks the Special Foundation for Taishan Scholar Professorship of Shandong Province (No. ts20130937) and UJN.

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Correspondence to Hongmin Ma.

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Liu, Y., Zhao, Y., Fan, Q. et al. Aptamer based electrochemiluminescent thrombin assay using carbon dots anchored onto silver-decorated polydopamine nanospheres. Microchim Acta 185, 85 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00604-017-2616-2

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