Colorimetric detection of urine glucose using a C/CdTe QDs–GOx aerogel based on a microfluidic assay sensor†
A sensitive fluorescent microfluidic sensor based on carbon quantum dots (CQDs), cadmium telluride quantum dots (CdTe QDs) aerogel and glucose oxidase (GOx) for urinal glucose detection was fabricated via a simple method. CQDs, emitting green fluorescence (emission peak at 520 nm) and the CdTe QDs, emitting red fluorescence (emission peak at 620 nm) under 365 nm ultraviolet irradiation, were synthesized. The as-prepared CQDs, CdTe QDs and GOx (C/CdTe QD-GOx) were mixed in a certain ratio and were then introduced into the microfluidic chip to construct a three-dimensional porous aerogel sensor after freeze-drying. A ratiometric fluorescence response was realized through the quenching of the red fluorescence by H2O2 produced from the glucose/GOx reaction, while the green fluorescence intensity stays constant. A small change in the ratio of the two fluorescence intensities led to a clear change in the fluorescent colour of the sensor, which can be easily observed under a UV lamp. The microsensor displayed a serial colour change from red to green with the changes in glucose concentration. The intensity ratio between the red fluorescence and green fluorescence (R/G value) indicates the glucose concentration. In our experiments, the optimal concentration ratio of CdTe QDs and CQDs was 0.5 : 1, and the optimal response time was 5 min. The detection range of glucose concentration was from 0 mM to 13 mM, and the detection limit was 0.223 mM. We also found that this glucose sensor has excellent selectivity, specificity and stability. The as-prepared microsensor can be stably stored for 30 days under −20 °C. Such a C/CdTe QD-GOx aerogel based microfluidic assay sensor provides a new approach towards the optical and quantitative detection of glucose, which enables daily urine glucose monitoring for the diabetic patients in a convenient way.