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Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Jan 19;50(2):847-55. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04600. Epub 2015 Dec 31.

Stimulus Response of Au-NPs@GMP-Tb Core-Shell Nanoparticles: Toward Colorimetric and Fluorescent Dual-Mode Sensing of Alkaline Phosphatase Activity in Algal Blooms of a Freshwater Lake.

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School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences and ‡Department of Chemistry, East China Normal University , 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200241, China.


In this study, we demonstrate a colorimetric and fluorescent dual-mode method for alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) sensing in freshwater lake with stimuli-responsive gold nanoparticles@terbium-guanosine monophosphate (Au-NPs@GMP-Tb) core-shell nanoparticles. Initially, the core-shell nanoparticles were fabricated based on Au-NPs decorated with a fluorescent GMP-Tb shell. Upon being excited at 290 nm, the as-formed Au-NPs@GMP-Tb core-shell nanoparticles emit green fluorescence, and the decorated GMP-Tb shell causes the aggregation of Au-NPs. However, the addition of ALP destroys GMP-Tb shell, resulting in the release of Au-NPs from the shell into the solvent. As a consequence, the aggregated Au-NPs solubilizes with the changes in the UV-vis spectrum of the dispersion, and in the meantime, the fluorescence of GMP-Tb shell turns off, which constitutes a new mechanism for colorimetric and fluorescent dual-mode sensing of APA. With the method developed here, we could monitor the dynamic change of APA during an algal bloom of a freshwater lake, both by the naked eye and further confirmed by fluorometric determination. This study not only offers a new method for on-site visible detection of APA but also provides a strategy for dual-mode sensing mechanisms by the rational design of the excellent optical properties of Au-NPs and the adaptive inclusion properties of the luminescent infinite coordination polymers.

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