Microchimica Acta

, 186:39 | Cite as

3D carbon nanosphere and gold nanoparticle-based voltammetric cytosensor for cell line A549 and for early diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer cells

  • Huan Zhang
  • Hong Ke
  • Yinfang Wang
  • Pengwei Li
  • Chusen Huang
  • Nengqin JiaEmail author
Original Paper


An electrochemical cytosensor for the detection of the non-small-cell lung cancer cell line A549 (NSCLC) had been developed. A microwave-hydrothermal method was employed to prepare monodisperse colloidal carbon nanospheres (CNSs). Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were placed on the surface of the colloidal CNSs by self-assembly to obtain 3D-structured microspheres of the type CNS@AuNP. The results of an MTT assay show the microspheres to possess good biocompatibility. The CNS@AuNP nanocomposite was then placed, in a chitosan film, on a glassy carbon electrode (GCE). The voltammetric signals and detection sensitivity are significantly enhanced owing to the synergistic effect of CNSs and AuNPs. A cytosensor was then obtained by immobilization of antibody against the carcinoembryonic antigen (which is a biomarker for NSCLC) on the GCE via crosslinking with glutaraldehyde. Hexacyanoferrate is used as an electrochemical probe, and the typical working voltage is 0.2 V (vs. SCE). If exposed to A549 cells, the differential pulse voltammetric signal decreases in the 4.2 × 10−1 to 4.2 × 10−6 cells mL−1 concentration range, and the detection limit is 14 cells mL−1 (at S/N = 3).

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of design strategy and fabrication process of the electrochemical cytosensor for A549 cells. (CNS: carbon nanospheres; GA: glutaraldehyde; PEI: polyethyleneimine; AuNPs: gold nanoparticles; BSA: Bovine serum albumin)


Non-small-cell cancer A549 cell line Cytosensor CNS@AuNP Differential pulse voltammetry Carcinoembryonic antigen 



We sincerely appreciate the support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21373138), Shanghai Science and Technology Committee (17070503000), International Joint Laboratory on Resource Chemistry (IJLRC), Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT_16R49) and Science and Technology Innovation Foundation for College Students from Shanghai Normal University.

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2018_3160_MOESM1_ESM.doc (165 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 165 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huan Zhang
    • 1
  • Hong Ke
    • 1
  • Yinfang Wang
    • 1
  • Pengwei Li
    • 1
  • Chusen Huang
    • 1
  • Nengqin Jia
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.The Education Ministry Key Laboratory of Resource Chemistry Shanghai Key Laboratory of Rare Earth Functional Materials and Shanghai Municipal Education Committee Key Laboratory of Molecular Imaging Probes and Sensors, Department of ChemistryShanghai Normal UniversityShanghaiChina

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