Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 9, pp 1905–1913 | Cite as

Silver and gold nanoparticles as multi-chromatic lateral flow assay probes for the detection of food allergens

  • Laura AnfossiEmail author
  • Fabio Di Nardo
  • Alida Russo
  • Simone Cavalera
  • Cristina Giovannoli
  • Giulia Spano
  • Sabine Baumgartner
  • Kathrin Lauter
  • Claudio Baggiani
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Nanoparticles for Bioanalysis


In this study, we report the simultaneous use of gold and silver nanoparticles to set a multicolor multiplex lateral flow immunoassay (xLFIA). Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), spherical in shape and characterized by a brilliant yellow color, were obtained by a new viable one-step synthetic protocol. AgNPs were stable over time and acceptably robust to conditions used for fabricating LFIA devices. These AgNPs were employed as a colorimetric probe in combination with two different kinds of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to set a visual xLFIA for detecting allergens. Surface plasmon resonance peaks of probes (AgNPs, spherical and desert rose-like AuNPs) were centered at 420, 525, and 620 nm, respectively. Therefore, the xLFIA output was easily interpreted through a “yellow magenta cyan (YMC)” color code. The prospect of the YMC xLFIA was demonstrated by simultaneously detecting three major allergens in bakery products. Antibodies directed towards casein, ovalbumin, and hazelnut allergenic proteins were individually adsorbed onto metal nanoparticles to produce three differently colored specific probes. These were inserted in a LFIA comprising three lines, each responsive for one allergen. The trichromatic xLFIA was able to detect allergenic proteins at levels as low as 0.1 mg/l and enabled the easy identification of the allergens in commercial biscuits based on the color of the probes.

Graphical Abstract


Immunochromatographic strip test Multiplex detection Ovalbumin Casein Hazelnut Colorimetry 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2018_1451_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 1047 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Anfossi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fabio Di Nardo
    • 1
  • Alida Russo
    • 2
  • Simone Cavalera
    • 1
  • Cristina Giovannoli
    • 1
  • Giulia Spano
    • 1
  • Sabine Baumgartner
    • 3
  • Kathrin Lauter
    • 3
  • Claudio Baggiani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  3. 3.Centre for Analytical Chemistry, Department for Agrobiotechnology TullnUniversity of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)TullnAustria

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