A Fenton-like reaction system with analyte-activated catfish effect as an enhanced colorimetric and photothermal dopamine bioassay†
Fenton-like reaction systems have been proven to be efficient as powerful promoters in advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) due to their generated reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as ˙OH and ˙O2−, which can further oxidize a specific chromogenic substrate like 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) to generate sensitive color readout and thereby demonstrate more potential in the colorimetric analysis field. However, the inherent drawback of the low rate-limiting step of Fe3+/Fe2+ conversion in the Fenton-like reaction and its resultant inefficiency for H2O2 decomposition hinder its practical applications. We herein communicate an analyte-activated catfish effect based catalysis strategy to promote the Fenton-like reaction, in which dopamine, like a catfish, was added to activate the Fenton-like reaction. By definition, the conversion rate of Fe3+ to Fe2+ in the proposed Fenton-like reaction can be significantly accelerated through a specific DA-mediated electron transfer process which further promotes the reaction activity in the Fenton-like reaction to generate more ˙OH and ˙O2− radicals. As a result, the produced ˙OH and ˙O2− radicals in such a reaction system can significantly oxidize TMB indicator into its oxidation product (TMBox) and therefore indicate the corresponding target-dependent color and photothermal signal readout, enabling the successful fabrication of a more sensitive and stable colorimetric and photothermometric DA sensor. More significantly, this strategy can greatly advance the practical application of Fenton-like reactions in the fields of colorimetric and photothermometric bioassays.