Microchimica Acta

, 186:40 | Cite as

A “turn-on” fluorometric assay for kanamycin detection by using silver nanoclusters and surface plasmon enhanced energy transfer

  • Tai Ye
  • Yan Peng
  • Min Yuan
  • Hui Cao
  • Jingsong Yu
  • Yan Li
  • Fei XuEmail author
Original Paper


A rapid method is described for the determination of the antibiotic kanamycin. It integrates a kanamycin-binding aptamer and surface plasmon enhanced energy transfer (SPEET) between DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (AgNCs) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). The AgNCs and AuNPs were selected as energy donor and energy acceptor, respectively. The aptamer was designed to regulate the energy transfer between AgNCs and AuNPs. The aptamer was adsorbed on the AuNPs. Upon addition of kanamycin, the aptamer-kanamycin complex is formed, and this results in the aggregation of the AuNPs in high salt concentration, the formation of a blue coloration, and in the suppression of the SPEET process. The fluorescence of the AgNCs (with excitation/emission peaks at 560/600 nm) is quenched by the aptamer protected AuNPs in absence of kanamycin. The fluorescence on addition of kanamycin increases linearly in the 5 to 50 nM concentration range, with a lower detection limit of 1.0 nM (at S/N = 3). The assay can be performed within 30 min. It was successfully applied to the determination of kanamycin in spiked milk samples, and recoveries ranged between 90.2 and 95.4%. Conceivably, the strategy has a wide potential for screening by simply changing the aptamer.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of the aptamer regulated surface plasmon enhance energy transfer (SPEET) between silver nanoclusters (Ag NCs) and gold nanoparticles (Au NCs) in high salt concentration buffer, and of the procedure for the detection of kanamycin.


Aptasensor Ag NCs Au NPs Antibiotics detection Food safety Milk analysis 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31801636), Shanghai Sailing Program (Grant No. 18YF1417300), and Cultivation Science Foundation of University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (ZR17PY08).

Compliance with ethical standards

This chapter does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

604_2018_3161_MOESM1_ESM.docx (61 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 61 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tai Ye
    • 1
  • Yan Peng
    • 1
  • Min Yuan
    • 1
  • Hui Cao
    • 1
  • Jingsong Yu
    • 1
  • Yan Li
    • 1
  • Fei Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Food Microbiology, School of Medical Instruments and Food EngineeringUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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