TiO2 nanotubes loaded with CdS nanocrystals as enhanced emitters of electrochemiluminescence: application to an assay for prostate-specific antigen.


Key Laboratory of Biomimetic Sensor and Detecting Technology of Anhui Province, School of Materials and Chemical Engineering, West Anhui University, Lu'an, 237012, Anhui, China. [Email]


An enhanced cathodic electrochemiluminescence (ECL) assay for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is developed based on the in situ activation of a semiconductor nanomaterial. An excellent ECL emitter (CdS/TiO2 nanotubes) was fabricated by the combination of TiO2 nanotubes (NTs) and thioglycolic acid-capped CdS nanocrystals (NCs). After the activation of the hydrogen peroxide-citric acid solution, the ECL signal was enhanced 265 times compared with that of the original TiO2 NT with H2O2 as co-reactant. For the ECL assay, activated CdS/TiO2 NTs were assembled with complementary DNA, PSA aptamer and probe DNA-functionalized SiO2@Pt nanoparticles (NPs) via DNA hybridization to form the detection platform. The SiO2@Pt NPs acted as ECL quencher of CdS/TiO2 NTs. In the presence of PSA, ECL increased after the release of pDNA-SiO2@Pt NPs because of the binding of PSA to the aptamer. An "off-on" ECL phenomenon appeared. The enhanced ECL signals were used for sensitive determination of PSA. The dynamic range was 0.001 to 50 ng mL-1 with a detection limit of 0.4 pg mL-1 (S/N = 3). This new approach conceivably paves the way for fabricating various other enhanced ECL emitter systems, with good application prospects in clinical practice. Graphical abstract The activated CdS/TiO2 nanotubes and SiO2@Pt nanoparticles were synthesized and used to develop an energy-transfer electrochemiluminescence analysis method with high sensitivity and anti-interference performance.


Aptamer,Coupled semiconductor nanomaterials,Enhanced electrochemiluminescence,In situ activation,SiO2@Pt nanoparticles,

OUR Recent Articles