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One-step fabrication of boronic-acid-functionalized carbon dots for the detection of sialic acid

Xu, Shaomei, Che, Songtian, Ma, Pinyi, Zhang, Fangmei, Xu, Longbin, Liu, Xin, Wang, Xinghua, Song, Daqian, Sun, Ying
Talanta 2019 v.197 pp. 548-552
blood serum, carbon quantum dots, cell membranes, fluorescence, hot water treatment, humans, neoplasms, sialic acid
Typically, sialic acids (SA) with a nine-carbon backbone are found at the glycan chain termini on the cell membranes, which play crucial roles in various physiological and pathological processes. The expression level of SA in the blood serum has been reported to correlate with various disease states among cancer. In this study, a novel approach for preparing fluorescent boronic-acid-modified carbon dots (C-dots) for the detection of SA was developed. The functionalized C-dots were synthesized by a facile, one-step hydrothermal method using 3-pyridineboronic acid as the sole carbon source. The added SA selectively recognized the C-dots, leading to the fluorescence quenching of the C-dots in a linear range of 80–4000 μM with a detection limit of 54 μM. The as-developed boronic-acid nanoprobe was successfully applied for the detection of SA in human serum samples with satisfactory results. In addition, this method afforded results within 4 min. Compared to other methods, this new proposed approach was simpler and exhibited excellent sensitivity and selectivity, demonstrating immense potential as an alternative for SA detection.