Microchimica Acta

, 186:466 | Cite as

Manganese(II)-doped zinc/germanium oxide nanoparticles as a viable fluorescent probe for visual and time-resolved fluorometric determination of ascorbic acid and its oxidase

  • Xin-Yue Han
  • Zi-Han Chen
  • Qian-Xi Fan
  • Kang-Ni Li
  • Fang-Ya Mu
  • Qingying Luo
  • Zongwen Jin
  • Guoyue Shi
  • Min ZhangEmail author
Original Paper


A method is described for the determination of ascorbic acid (AA) in complex biological fluids. It based on maganese(II)-doped zinc/germanium oxide nanoparticles (Mn@ZnGe NPs) with appealing time-resolved phosphorescence (TRP). TRP can provide a background-free reporter signal in analytical methods. The absorption of AA overlaps the excitation band of Mn@ZnGe NPs at 254 nm. This reduces the intensity of fluorescence via an inner filter effect (IFE) with increasing concentration of AA. Typical experimental conditions include an emission peak at 536 nm, a delay time of 50 μs and a counting time of 2 ms. This method can detect AA in a range of 5–500 μM with a 0.13 μM limit of detection. If AA is oxidized by the enzyme AA oxidase (AAOx), dehydroascorbic acid will be formed which doesn’t absorb at 254 nm. Hence, the IFE cannot occur and fluorescence is not reduced. The strategy can be used to quantify AAOx in the activity range of 1–4 U·mL−1. By using a handheld UV lamp and a smart phone with a color-scanning feature, the feasibility for visual detection and real-time/onsite quantitative scanometric monitoring of AA and AAOx is demonstrated.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of a fluorometric method for determination of ascorbic acid (AA) and ascorbic oxidase and a scanometric visual assay. It based on the use of maganese(II)-doped zinc/germanium oxide nanoparticles (Mn@ZnGe NPs) with appealing time-resolved phosphorescence (TRP) and the inner-filter effect (IFE) between AA and Mn@ZnGe NPs.


Time-resolved phosphorescence Inner-filter effect Real-time/onsite quantitative scanometric monitoring Visual biosensing 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21775044, 21675053, 21635003), Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (19ZR1473300), Key Project of the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee (18DZ1112700), and Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province (2016B020238003).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2019_3580_MOESM1_ESM.doc (644 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 644 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Shanghai Key Laboratory for Urban Ecological Processes and Eco-RestorationEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Research Center for Micro/Nano System & Bionic Medicine, Institute of Biomedical & Health Engineering, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced TechnologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenzhenChina

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