Size-optimized galactose-capped gold nanoparticles for the colorimetric detection of heat-labile enterotoxin at nanomolar concentrations†
The development of a galactose-capped gold nanoparticle-based colorimetric sensor for the detection of the lectin heat-labile enterotoxin is reported. Heat-labile enterotoxin is one of the pathogenic agents responsible for the intestinal disease called ‘traveller's diarrhoea’. By means of specific interaction between galactose moieties attached to the surface of gold nanoparticles and receptors on the B-subunit of heat-labile enterotoxin (LTB), the gold nanoparticles reported here act as an efficient colorimetric sensor, which can detect the toxin at nanomolar concentrations. The effect of gold nanoparticle size on the detection sensitivity was investigated in detail. Amongst the various sizes of gold nanoparticles studied (2, 7, 12, and 20 nm), the 12 nm sized gold nanoparticles were found to be the most efficient, with a minimum heat-labile enterotoxin detection concentration of 100 nM. The red to purple colour change of the gold nanoparticle solution occurred within two minutes, indicating rapid toxin sensing.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Multivalent Biomolecular Recognition