Paper-Based In-Situ Gold Nanoparticle Synthesis for Colorimetric, Non-Enzymatic Glucose Level Determination.

Tomás Pinheiro, João Ferrão, Ana C Marques, Maria J Oliveira, Nitin M Batra, Pedro M. F. J. Da Costa, M Paula Macedo, Hugo Águas, Rodrigo Martins, Elvira Fortunato

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25 Scopus citations


Due to its properties, paper represents an alternative to perform point-of-care tests for colorimetric determination of glucose levels, providing simple, rapid, and inexpensive means of diagnosis. In this work, we report the development of a novel, rapid, disposable, inexpensive, enzyme-free, and colorimetric paper-based assay for glucose level determination. This sensing strategy is based on the synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) by reduction of a gold salt precursor, in which glucose acts simultaneously as reducing and capping agent. This leads to a direct measurement of glucose without any enzymes or depending on the detection of intermediate products as in conventional enzymatic colorimetric methods. Firstly, we modelled the synthesis reaction of AuNPs to determine the optical, morphological, and kinetic properties and their manipulation for glucose sensing, by determining the influence of each of the reaction precursors towards the produced AuNPs, providing a guide for the manipulation of nucleation and growth. The adaptation of this synthesis into the developed paper platform was tested and calibrated using different standard solutions with physiological concentrations of glucose. The response of the colorimetric signals obtained with this paper-based platform showed a linear behavior until 20 mM, required for glycemic control in diabetes, using the Red × Value/Grey feature combination as a calibration metric, to describe the variations in color intensity and hue in the spot test zone. The colorimetric sensor revealed a detection limit of 0.65 mM, depending on calibration metric and sensitivity of 0.013 AU/mM for a linear sensitivity range from 1.25 to 20 mM, with high specificity for the determination of glucose in complex standards with other common reducing interferents and human serum.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2027
JournalNanomaterials (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 17 2020


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