Aptamer-based cocaine assay using a nanohybrid composed of ZnS/Ag2Se quantum dots, graphene oxide and gold nanoparticles as a fluorescent probe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Downloads (Pure)


Authors report on a new fluoro-graphene-plasmonic nanohybrid aptamer-based fluorescent nanoprobe for cocaine. To construct the nanoprobe, newly synthesized glutathione-capped ZnS/Ag 2Se quantum dots (QDs) were first conjugated to graphene oxide (GO) to form a QD-GO nanocomposite. The binding interaction resulted in a fluorescence turn-ON. Thereafter, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)-gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were directly adsorbed on the QD-GO nanocomposite to form a novel QD-GO-CTAB-AuNP nanohybrid assembly that resulted in a fluorescence turn-OFF. Streptavidin (strep) was then adsorbed on the QDs-GO-CTAB-AuNP nanohybrid assembly which allowed binding to a biotinylated MNS 4.1 anticocaine DNA aptamer (B) receptor. The addition of cocaine into the strep-B-QDs-GO-CTAB-AuNP aptamer nanoprobe system aided affinity to the aptamer receptor and in turn turned on the fluorescence of the nanoprobe in a concentration-dependent manner. Under optimum experimental conditions, we found the strep-B-QD-GO-CTAB-AuNP to be far superior in its sensitivity to cocaine than the tested strep-B-QDs (no GO and CTAB-AuNPs), strep-B-QD-CTAB-AuNP (no GO) and strep-B-QD-GO (no CTAB-AuNP). In addition, the investigation of localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) amplified signal from tested plasmonic NPs shows that CTAB-AuNPs was far superior in amplifying the fluorescence signal of the nanoprobe. A detection limit of 4.6 nM (1.56 ng.mL −1), rapid response time (~2 min) and excellent selectivity against other drugs, substances and cocaine metabolites was achieved. The strep-B-QD-GO-CTAB-AuNP aptamer-based fluorescent nanoprobe was successfully applied for the determination of cocaine in seized adulterated cocaine samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalMicrochimica Acta
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Fluorescence
  • Gold nanoparticle
  • Graphene oxide
  • Nanohybrid
  • Quantum dots

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Aptamer-based cocaine assay using a nanohybrid composed of ZnS/Ag2Se quantum dots, graphene oxide and gold nanoparticles as a fluorescent probe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Projects


    No photo of Oluwasesan Adegoke

    Adegoke, Oluwasesan

    Person: Academic

    No photo of Svetlana A. Zolotovskaya

    Zolotovskaya, Svetlana A.

    Person: Academic

    Cite this