A ratiometric fluorescent paper sensor for consecutive color change-based visual determination of blood glucose in serum†
Fluorescent paper sensors are widely used in the assays of environment, food and medicine; however, their applications usually have been limited due to the narrow color-change range and insensitivity of the color variation to dosage of target analytes. In this paper, we report a ratiometric fluorescent probe-based paper sensor regulated by the optimum proportion of gold nanoclusters stabilized by bovine serum albumin and fluorescent graphene oxide to achieve the maximum consecutive color change for visual determination of glucose in human serum. The oxidation of hydrogen peroxide produced by glucose quenches the red fluorescence emission of gold nanoclusters and unveils a consecutive color change from pink to blue with the corresponding dosage of glucose. This colorimetric paper sensor printed with the probe ink exhibits a dosage-sensitive allochromatic capability for the blood glucose concentration of 4–10 mM in human serum (normal concentration: 4.4–6.6 mM). The method reported here can open a window in predicting diseases related to abnormal glucose levels.