A colorimetric sensor array for detection and discrimination of antioxidants based on Ag nanoshell deposition on gold nanoparticle surfaces†
There is growing interest in developing a high-performance sensor array for detection and discrimination of antioxidants owing to their widespread use and essential role in the human body. The present work unveils a novel colorimetric sensor array for colorimetric discrimination of antioxidants based on the red, green, and blue alteration (ΔRGB) pattern recognition. In this sensor array, three concentrations of AgNO3 were used as sensing elements, and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were employed as a colorimetric probe. In the presence of antioxidants, the sensor array produces unique colorimetric response patterns for the discrimination of these antioxidants due to different reactivities between three different concentrations of AgNO3 and each antioxidant, leading to deposition of different quantities of Ag nanoshells on the surface of AuNPs, enabling an excellent discrimination of six antioxidants (catechin, epigallocatechin 3-gallate, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin 3-gallate, and gallocatechin) at a 20 nM level, when linear discriminant analysis (LDA), hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), centroid diagram, spidergram, and color contour profiles were smartly combined. Furthermore, different concentrations of antioxidants and binary antioxidant mixtures, even ternary mixtures, could also be discriminated with this sensor array. Finally, the sensor array was successfully used for the discrimination of antioxidants in serum samples, demonstrating its potential applications in the diagnosis of antioxidant-related diseases.