One-step self-assembling multiple hydrophobic quantum dots and hydrophilic biomolecules into all-inclusive tags for ultrasensitive immunosensors

Tian Guan, Yudong Shen, Zhuo Jiang, Yingju Liu, Qileng Aori, Anastasios Koidis, Xiaojun Yao, Hongtao Lei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


High quality hydrophobic quantum dots (QDs) are increasingly popular in developing ultrasensitive immunoassays. However, the conjugation of biomolecules usually suffers from complex modifications and compromised luminescence. Herein, a novel one-step emulsification-assisted approach was described to synthesize antibody-decorated vesicles with high QDs-loading, outstanding dispersity and high quantum yields sustaining. Initially, the prerequisites for fabricating such vesicles were systematically investigated. QDs diluted in non-polar solvents were emulsified into compact nanospheres and accommodated with recognizing antibodies and stabilizing proteins that contained abundant amino groups. Then, the universality of this technique was verified by introducing three kinds of hydrophobic QDs to fabricate similar vesicles. Finally, to evaluate the applicability, an immunochromatographic assay toward 12 prohibited phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors in health foods was developed with outstanding sensitivity (a significant analytical improvement of 5–80 folds compared to the reported ICA methods) and high accuracy. The present work highlights a novel and effective approach to produce high hydrophobic QDs-loaded immunoprobes, which is potentially generalizable to overcome limitations of weak fluorescence, low dispersity and complicated synthesis when conjugating biomolecules and hydrophobic QDs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132720
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Early online date24 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022


  • Hydrophobic quantum dots
  • Multiplex immunochromatography assay
  • One-step
  • PED-5 inhibitors
  • Self-assemble

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'One-step self-assembling multiple hydrophobic quantum dots and hydrophilic biomolecules into all-inclusive tags for ultrasensitive immunosensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this