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Applied Sciences, Vol. 7, Pages 475: A Fast and Cost-Effective Detection of Melamine by Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Using a Novel Hydrogen Bonding-Assisted Supramolecular Matrix and Gold-Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles

03 May 2017

A fast and cost-effective melamine detection approach has been developed based on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) using a novel hydrogen bonding-assisted supramolecular matrix. The detection utilizes Fe3O4/Au magnetic nanoparticles coated with 5-aminoorotic acid (AOA) as a SERS active substrate (Fe3O4/Au–AOA), and Rhodamine B (RhB) conjugated AOA as a Raman reporter (AOA–RhB). Upon mixing the reagents with melamine, a supramolecular complex [Fe3O4/Au–AOA•••melamine•••AOA–RhB] was formed due to the strong multiple hydrogen bonding interactions between AOA and melamine. The complex was separated and concentrated to a pellet by an external magnet and used as a supramolecular matrix for the melamine detection. Laser excitation of the complex pellet produced a strong SERS signal diagnostic for RhB. The logarithmic intensity of the characteristic RhB peaks was found to be proportional to the concentration of melamine with a limit of detection of 2.5 µg/mL and a detection linearity range of 2.5~15.0 µg/mL in milk. As Fe3O4 nanoparticles and AOA are thousands of times less expensive than the monoclonal antibody used in a traditional sandwich immunoassay, the current assay drastically cut down the cost of melamine detection. The current approach affords promise as a biosensor platform that cuts down sample pre-treatment steps and measurement expense.

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