A new colorimetric method that can be used to rapidly detect toxic ricin is demonstrated. Lactosylated cysteine-functionalized gold nanoparticles (Au@LACY NPs) were prepared by a one-pot reaction and employed as optical probes for determination of ricin B chain. It is found that the Au@LACY NPs undergo aggregation in the presence of ricin B chain. This leads to surface plasmon coupling effects of the particles and a color change from red to blue, with absorption maxima at 519 and 670 nm, respectively. The feasibility of using the current approach for quantitative analysis of ricin B chain is also demonstrated. The calibration plot is generated by plotting the ratio of the absorbance at the wavelength of 634 to 518 nm versus the concentration of the ricin B chain. The spectrophotometric method has a ~29 pM (~ 0.91 ng·mL−1) detection limit, and the sample with the concentration of ~ 400 pM (~ 13 ng·mL−1) can be detected visually. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
- Bioterrorism agent
- Castor plant
- Localized surface plasmon
- Surface plasmon coupling effects