Microchimica Acta

, 186:409 | Cite as

Electrochemiluminescence “turn-off” detection of curcumin via energy transfer using luminol-doped silica nanoparticles

  • Maoyu Zhao
  • Wenjing QiEmail author
  • Yuling Fu
  • Hongkun He
  • Di Wu
  • Lin Qi
  • Rong Li
Original Paper


A method is presented for electrochemiluminescent (ECL) detection of the food additive curcumin via an energy transfer strategy and by using luminol-doped silica nanoparticles (luminol-NPs). The ECL emission of the luminol-NPs (peaking at 425 nm) is reduced in the presence of curcumin due to spectral overlap. The assay can be performed within 1 min, response is linear in the 0.1 to 100 µM curcumin concentration range, and the limit of detection is 32 nM. The method is selective over many ions, adenosine triphosphate, ascorbic acid, cysteine and folic acid. It was successfully applied to the determination of curcumin in spiked human serum and urine. The average recoveries range from 99.0 to 102.6%.

Graphical abstract

Electrochemiluminescence (ECL) “turn-off” detection of curcumin at levels as low as 32 nM via energy transfer using luminol-doped silica nanoparticles. No hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is used in ECL detection which makes the luminol-NPs ECL system more stable than the conventional luminol-H2O2 ECL system.


Electrochemiluminescence (ECL) Food additive Curcumin Energy transfer Spectral overlap Serum Urine 



This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21505011), Chongqing Research Program of Basic Research and Frontier Technology (No. cstc2018jcyjAX0742) and Program for Top-Notch Young Innovative Talents of Chongqing Normal University (No. 02030307-00042).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2019_3556_MOESM1_ESM.doc (150 kb)
ESM 1 Supplementary data including the effect of pH value, temperature and time on ECL detection of curcumin are freely available on the website. (DOC 149 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chongqing Key Laboratory of Inorganic Functional Materials, College of ChemistryChongqing Normal UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Huize Cigarette FactoryHongyun Honghe Tabacco (Group) Co., Ltd.HuizePeople’s Republic of China

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