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Anal Chem. 2016 Oct 18;88(20):10275-10283. Epub 2016 Sep 28.

Nanomolar Hg2+ Detection Using β-Lactoglobulin-Stabilized Fluorescent Gold Nanoclusters in Beverage and Biological Media.

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Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health, College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University , Key Laboratory of Functional Dairy, Ministry of Education, Beijing, 100083, China.
Key Laboratory of Space Nutrition and Food Engineering, State Key Lab of Space Medicine Fundamentals and Application, China Astronaut Research and Training Center , No. 26, Beiqing Road, Beijing 100094, China.


Owing to diverse functionalities and metal binding abilities, proteins have been proven to be promising ligands in the synthesis of gold nanoclusters (Au NCs). In this work, we explored β-lactoglobulin (β-Lg), a protein byproduct generated during cheese processing, as a biotemplate for fabrication of Au NCs by a facile and green method for the first time. The as-prepared Au NCs are water soluble and highly fluorescent and exhibit high sensitivity and selectivity for Hg2+ detection in aqueous solution. Interestingly, we found that the fluorescence of these Au NCs is stable either in a variety of complex matrixes or over a broad pH range (5.0-13.0) and therefore can be explored as a cell and animal imaging agent. More importantly, we demonstrated that the β-lactoglobulin-stabilized Au NCs (β-Lg-Au NCs) could serve as a sensor for the detection and quantification of Hg2+ in beverages, urine, and serum with high sensitivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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