Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 28, pp 7511–7521 | Cite as

A simple, highly sensitive colorimetric immunosensor for the detection of alternariol monomethyl ether in fruit by non-aggregated gold nanoparticles

  • Yan Man
  • Junan Ren
  • Bingru Li
  • Xinxin Jin
  • Ligang PanEmail author
Research Paper


Alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) is one of the major Alternaria mycotoxins present in a wide range of fruits, vegetables, grains, and their products, and possesses the properties of mutagenicity and carcinogenicity. In this study, a simple, rapid, and highly sensitive colorimetric immunosensor based on magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) was firstly developed for the detection of AME in fruit by nonaggregated gold nanoparticles (GNPs). AME–BSA–Fe3O4 MNP conjugates and free AME molecules in samples competitively bind with monoclonal antibody (mAb)–GNP conjugates. After magnetic separation, the UV absorbance of the nonaggregated GNP supernatant was measured directly. The absorption intensity was proportional to the concentration of AME in the sample. Carboxyl-group-modified AME, AME–bovine serum albumin (BSA) conjugates, anti-AME mAbs, AME–BSA–Fe3O4 MNP conjugates, and mAb–GNP conjugates were prepared and characterized. The effect of GNP sizes (16, 24, and 40 nm) on the colorimetric determination of AME was studied. Under optimized conditions, the limit of detection and the linear range for AME were 0.16 ng/mL and 0.08–0.48 ng/mL, respectively. Moreover, the colorimetric immunosensor developed has lower cross-reactivity with AME analogues. The recoveries of spiked fruits ranged from 80.6% to 90.7%. The colorimetric immunosensor developed provides a promising method for simple, rapid, highly sensitive, and highly specific detection of other mycotoxins in the field of food safety.

Graphical abstract

Competitive colorimetric immunosensor based on MNPs for the detection of AME by non-aggregated GNPs


Alternariol monomethyl ether Colorimetric immunosensor Gold nanoparticles Magnetic nanoparticles 



This work was supported by the Beijing Excellent Talents project (2016000020060G127), and the Open Project of the Beijing Research Center for Agricultural Standards and Testing (kfkt201709).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethics approval

All experimental procedures were approved by the Beijing Kwinbon Biotechnology Co.'s Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care. All animal experiments were performed in accordance with institutional guidelines and ethics.

Informed consent

No humans were involved in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan Man
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Junan Ren
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bingru Li
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xinxin Jin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ligang Pan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Beijing Research Center for Agricultural Standards and TestingBeijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Risk Assessment Lab for Agro-products (Beijing)Ministry of AgricultureBeijingChina
  3. 3.Beijing Municipal Key Laboratory of Agriculture Environment MonitoringBeijingChina

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