Abstract

Fluorescence-based aptasensors possess high sensitivity but are complicated and usually require multistep labeling and modification in method design, which severely limit the practical applications. Here, a label-free fluorescence-based aptasensor, consisting of aptamer, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), and cadmium telluride (CdTe) quantum dots (QDs), was developed for the detection of sulfadimethoxine (SDM) in water and fish based on the specific recognition of SDM-aptamer and the inner filter effect of QDs and AuNPs. In the absence of a target, AuNPs dispersed in salt solution because of the aptamer protection, which could effectively quench the fluorescence emission of QDs, while in the presence of SDM, AuNPs aggregated due to the specific recognition of SDM-aptamer to SDM, which resulted in fluorescence recovery. A linear response of SDM concentrations in the range of 10–250 ng mL−1 (R2 = 0.99) was obtained, and the detection limit was 1.54 ng mL−1 (3σ, n = 9), far below the maximum residue limit (100 ng mL−1) of SDM in edible animal tissues regulated by China and the European Commission. The fluorescence-based aptasensor was applied to the detection of SDM in aquaculture water and fish samples with high accuracy, excellent precision, and ideal selectivity. The results indicated that the developed aptasensor was simple in design, easy to operate, and could be used to detect rapidly and accurately SDM in water and fish samples.

© 2018 The Author(s)

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