A lanthanide-based magnetic nanosensor as an erasable and visible platform for multi-color point-of-care detection of multiple targets and the potential application by smartphone†
The sensitive, selective and point-of-care detection of dipicolinic acid (DPA) is of great significance for the prevention of the anthrax virus and the containment of bioterrorism. In this work, a multi-color fluorescent nanoprobe composed of lanthanides and magnetic nanoparticles (Fe3O4@CePO4:Tb-EDTA-Eu) has been designed, in which the portion of Fe3O4@CePO4:Tb can be used as the internal stable signal of green fluorescence, while the EDTA-Eu part can be used as the sensitive reaction signal for monitoring DPA. Upon the addition of DPA, the red fluorescence of Eu3+ ions is significantly enhanced, while the fluorescent color of the nanoprobes can change from green to red (such as yellow-green, orange-yellow and orange-red), achieving visual multi-color fluorescent detection even by the naked eye. By using the magnetic separation method, the composites can be easily purified for point-of-care testing. More importantly, the nanoprobe fixed test pieces enable real-time analysis of DPA by using an easy-to-access color-scanning application on a smartphone. Furthermore, the fluorescence intensity can be quenched by the addition of Cu2+, which leads to a rewritable nanosensor and can be used in the detection of cysteine (Cys) with high sensitivity. With the addition of Cys, this erasable nano detection platform can also display the original multi-color visual point-of-care detection. With further optimization, this new type of multi-color fluorescent assay is promising in point-of-care clinics for multi-target diagnostics.
- This article is part of the themed collection: International Year of the Periodic Table : Lanthanides for Precision Therapy and Beyond