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Smartphone colorimetric determination of hydrogen peroxide in real samples based on B, N, and S co-doped carbon dots probe


In this paper, we report the use of a smartphone and B, N, and S co-doped carbon dots (BNS-CDs) as a promising peroxidase mimic to quantify hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The synthesized BNS-CDs exhibited excellent peroxidase-like activity to catalyze the reaction of the chromogenic substrate 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) with H2O2 to generate a blue oxide product (ox-TMB) with maximum absorption at 652 nm. Steady-state kinetic analysis demonstrated that the BNS-CDs showed much higher affinity than natural horseradish peroxidase (HRP) for H2O2 due to their small size and larger specific surface area. A smartphone colorimetric readout device was employed to record the RGB (red green blue) value of the ox-TMB solution via the Android application Color Grab for quantitative detection. A good linear relationship (R2 = 0.9970) between the H2O2 concentration and |R-Rblank| value was obtained in the range of 3–30 μM with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.8 μM. The current method was successfully applied to determine H2O2 in mouthwash and milk with recoveries of 92.70–108.30%. The developed assay is a promising portable detection platform for H2O2 with good sensitivity and selectivity, simple operation, fast response, and low cost.

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This study received financial support from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC1603700) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21767026, 21862019).

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Correspondence to Bo Peng or Yanjun Fang.

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Peng, B., Xu, J., Fan, M. et al. Smartphone colorimetric determination of hydrogen peroxide in real samples based on B, N, and S co-doped carbon dots probe. Anal Bioanal Chem 412, 861–870 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-019-02284-1

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  • Smartphone
  • RGB
  • Carbon dots
  • Peroxidase
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • TMB