Microchimica Acta

, 186:111 | Cite as

Colorimetric detection and typing of E. coli lipopolysaccharides based on a dual aptamer-functionalized gold nanoparticle probe

  • Longjiao Zhu
  • Shuting Li
  • Xiangli Shao
  • Yuxiang Feng
  • Peiyan Xie
  • Yunbo Luo
  • Kunlun Huang
  • Wentao XuEmail author
Short Communication


A rapid method for identification and typing of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) was developed by utilizing the different binding affinities between two kinds of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) functionalized with two aptamers. Aptamers against ethanolamine and E. coli O111:B4 LPS were used to functionalize the AuNPs. The AuNPs functionalized with ethanolamine aptamer can bind to ethanolamine and are termed general probe (G-probe). The G-probe can recognize any type of LPS because ethanolamine is a component of every type of LPS. This causes a sandwich-mediated aggregation of the AuNPs and a color change from red to blue. The AuNPs functionalized with aptamer against the LPS of E. coli O111:B4 specifically bind to O111:B4 LPS and are termed specific probe (S-probe). By using these two probes, a logic typing method was developed. It can detect LPS in concentrations between 2.5 and 20 μg·mL−1 and with a 1 μg·mL−1 detection limit. In the authors’ perception, the use of a dual aptamer-based colorimetric method has a large potential in terms of selective detection of microorganisms.

Graphical abstract

Two aptamer functionalized AuNP probes, G-probe and S-probe, were prepared for LPS typing and detecting. E. coli O111:B4 LPS was easily distinguished from O55:B5 LPS according to the signal output configurations (On & On Vs On & Off) of a general probe (G-probe) and a specific probe (S-probe).


O111:B4 Ethanolamine O55:B5 Visible Logic typing Aptasensor 



This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.31871875, No. 3180162).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2018_3212_MOESM1_ESM.docx (80 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 80.0 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Longjiao Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shuting Li
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xiangli Shao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuxiang Feng
    • 2
  • Peiyan Xie
    • 2
  • Yunbo Luo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kunlun Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wentao Xu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health, College of Food Science & Nutritional EngineeringChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Organism (Food Safety)Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the P.R. ChinaBeijingChina
  3. 3.Beijing Laboratory for Food Quality and Safety, College of Food Science and Nutritional EngineeringChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina

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