Colorimetric detection of ciprofloxacin in aqueous solution based on an unmodified aptamer and the aggregation of gold nanoparticles
A colorimetric method is described for detection of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin (CIP) in aqueous solutions based on an unmodified CIP-aptamer and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which are regarded as a probe and an indicator, respectively. In the absence of CIP, aptamers can hybridize with poly dimethyl diallyl ammonium chloride (PDDA) to form a ‘duplex’ structure through electrostatic interactions, and AuNPs remain dispersed in solution, leading to a red solution and an obvious absorption peak at 520 nm. Contrarily, the CIP-aptamer can specifically bind to CIP after the introduction of CIP into the solution. Then PDDA is thus free to aggregate AuNPs. The solution turns blue from red accordingly, presenting a strong absorption at 650 nm. Hence, the concentration of CIP can be quantified through the changes of the absorption. This sensitive and selective colorimetric method for CIP detection has a good linear response (R = 0.9935) in the 20 to 300 nM CIP concentration range, with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.215 nM. Importantly, the proposed aptasensor demonstrates great application potential in CIP determination in aqueous samples.