Metallic nanoparticles have been utilized as analytical tools to detect a wide range of organic analytes. In most reports, gold (Au)-based nanosensors have been modified with ligands to introduce selectivity towards a specific target molecule. However, in a recent study a new concept was presented where bare Au-nanorods on self-assembled carboxymethyl-hexanoyl chitosan (CHC) nanocarriers achieved sensitive and selective detection of human serum albumin (HSA) after manipulation of the solution pH. Here this concept was further advanced through optimization of the ratio between Au-nanorods and CHC nanocarriers to create a nanotechnology-based sensor (termed CHC-AuNR nanoprobe) with an outstanding lower detection limit (LDL) for HSA. The CHC-AuNR nanoprobe was evaluated in simulated urine solution and a LDL as low as 1.5 pM was achieved at an estimated AuNR/CHC ratio of 2. Elemental mapping and protein adsorption kinetics over three orders of magnitude in HSA concentration confirmed accumulation of HSA on the nanorods and revealed the adsorption to be completed within 15 min for all investigated concentrations. The results suggest that the CHC-AuNR nanoprobe has potential to be utilized for cost-effective detection of analytes in complex liquids.
- Chitosan nanoparticles
- Gold nanorods
- Human serum albumin
- Simulated urine
- Surface plasmon resonance biosensor