Microchimica Acta

, 186:58 | Cite as

Fluorometric dopamine assay based on an energy transfer system composed of aptamer-functionalized MoS2 quantum dots and MoS2 nanosheets

  • Jia Chen
  • Yunchun Li
  • Yanni Huang
  • Haijuan Zhang
  • Xingguo Chen
  • Hongdeng QiuEmail author
Original Paper


The authors describe a fluorometric strategy for the determination of dopamine (DA). It is based on the use of aptamer-functionalized MoS2 quantum dots (QDs) and MoS2 nanosheets (NSs). The QDs and NSs were extensively characterized with regard to their physical and chemical properties using methods such as TEM, XRD, FT-IR, EDX and molecular spectroscopies. The aptamer against dopamine was labeled with QDs acting as the energy donor in an energy transfer system, while the NSs serve as the energy acceptor. Under the optimal conditions, the fluorescence (FL) intensity (best measured at excitation/emission peaks of 315/412 nm) increases with increasing DA concentration in the range from 0.1 nM to 1000 nM, with a lower detection limit of 45 pM. The method was successfully applied to the determination of DA in complex matrices. In our perception, the method has a wide scope in that it may be extended to other biomolecules for which respective aptamer are available. The QDs show excellent optical properties, good stability, low cytotoxicity, and may also be applied to fluorometric imaging of live cells.

Graphical abstract

A “turn-on” fluorometric aptasensor for the determination of dopamine (DA) was established based on aptamer-functionalized molybdenum disulfide quantum dots (MoS2 QDs) and MoS2 nanosheets. This assay exhibits high selectivity and sensitivity with a detection limit as low as 45 pM.


Nanomaterial Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) Neurotransmitter Aptasensor Turn-on Bioassay Static quenching 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21822407, 21405163), the Funds for Distinguished Young Scientists of Gansu (1506RJDA281) and the top priority program of “One-Three-Five” Strategic Planning of Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, CAS.

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interest.

Supplementary material

604_2018_3143_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.6 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2616 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yunchun Li
    • 1
  • Yanni Huang
    • 1
  • Haijuan Zhang
    • 1
  • Xingguo Chen
    • 3
  • Hongdeng Qiu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Chemistry of Northwestern Plant Resources and Key Laboratory for Natural Medicine of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Chinese Academy of SciencesUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic ChemistryLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

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