Microchimica Acta

, 185:281 | Cite as

Colorimetric and fluorometric determination of uric acid based on the use of nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots and silver triangular nanoprisms

  • Yanying Wang
  • Yan Yang
  • Wei Liu
  • Fang Ding
  • Qingbiao Zhao
  • Ping Zou
  • Xianxiang Wang
  • Hanbing Rao
Original Paper


A dual-read detection system is described for non-enzymatic and non-aggregation based analysis of uric acid (UA). Silver triangular nanoprisms (AgTNPs) were used as colorimetric probes, while the reduction in the fluorescence of nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (N-CQDs) served as the fluorometric readout. The absorption band of the AgTNPs overlaps the emission band of N-CQDs (with a peak at 440 nm). Therefore, fluorescence is reduced owing to an inner filter effect. The AgTNPs are etched if exposed to H2O2, and round nanodiscs are formed. In the presence of UA, etching of the AgTNPs is suppressed because the facets of the AgTNPs are coated with UA. The absorbance, best measured at 683 nm, increases with the concentration of the pre-added UA. The colorimetric assay works in the 0.1–45 μM UA concentration range, and the fluorometric assay between 1 and 42 μM of UA. The respective detection limits are 50 and 200 nM, respectively. The probe can be used for direct visualization of UA. The method was successfully applied to the determination of UA in urine samples.

Graphical abstract

The fluorescence of nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (N-CQDs) is quenched by AgTNPs (silver triangular nanoprisms). As the AgTNPs are etched by H2O2, fluorescence recovers in the system after H2O2 is added, and also undergoes a color change. Uric acid (UA) protects the AgTNPs from etching because the facets of the AgTNPs are coated with UA. The fluorescence of N-CQDs decreases. Thus, a dual-read probe is developed for determination of UA.


Fluorescence Silver triangular nanoprisms Dual-read probe Inner filter effect Facet-dependent properties Morphological transition 



This work was supported by a grant from the Two-way Support Programs of Sichuan Agricultural University (Project No.03572228) and the Education Department of Sichuan Provincial, PR China (Grant No. 16ZA0039).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2018_2814_MOESM1_ESM.doc (12.7 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 13035 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanying Wang
    • 1
  • Yan Yang
    • 1
  • Wei Liu
    • 1
  • Fang Ding
    • 2
    • 3
  • Qingbiao Zhao
    • 4
  • Ping Zou
    • 1
  • Xianxiang Wang
    • 1
  • Hanbing Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.College of ScienceSichuan Agricultural UniversityYucheng DistrictPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Suzhou Institute of Systems MedicineSuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Center for Systems Medicine, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Polar Materials and Devices, Ministry of Education, Department of Electronic EngineeringEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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