The quantitative detection of triglycerides is an important issue for health inspection of metabolic disorders and for food and oil-refining industries. Many methods have been designed to approach this target, in which multiple reactions catalyzed by enzymes are normally coupled consecutively. In this study, we demonstrated a simple assay system containing lipase and photoactivated luminescent CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) for the quantitative detection of triglycerides. Photoactivated CdSe/ZnS QDs function as a sensitive "indicator" to reveal the minute acidity change of the assay system resulting from the enzymatic hydrolysis of triglycerides. By controlling the initial buffer condition of the assay system at 5, 10, or 20 mM phosphate buffer at pH 8.0, respectively, the quenching ratio of the QDs fluorescence intensity monitored at the maximum photoluminescence showed a linear correlation with the concentration of the examined triglyceride in the range of 0.02-6, 0.2-10, or 2-20 mM, respectively. The assay system also provides a convenient way to estimate triglyceride concentration by visualizing the color change of the QDs fluorescence. As compared to most of the existing methods, the system reported herein possessed many advantages, including simplicity, low cost, high flexibility, and high sensitivity. Furthermore, no complicated chemical modification or enzyme immobilization is needed.
- Quantum dots