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Bacteria-Instructed Click Chemistry between Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles for Point-of-Care Microbial Detection

Mou, Xiao-Zhou, Chen, Xiao-Yi, Wang, Jianhao, Zhang, Zhaotian, Yang, Yanmei, Shou, Zhang-Xuan, Tu, Yue-Xing, Du, Xuancheng, Wu, Chun, Zhao, Yuan, Qiu, Lin, Jiang, Pengju, Chen, Chunying, Huang, Dong-Sheng, Li, Yong-Qiang
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2019 v.11 no.26 pp. 23093-23101
Escherichia coli, alkynes, azides, bacterial infections, blood sampling, catalysts, chemistry, color, colorimetry, copper, early diagnosis, magnetism, microbial detection, mobile telephones, nanogold, nanoparticles, point-of-care systems, public health, sepsis (infection), virulent strains
Bacterial infections pose mounting public health concerns and cause an enormous medical and financial burden today. Rapid and sensitive detection of pathogenic bacteria at the point of care (POC) remains a paramount challenge. Here, we report a novel concept of bacteria-instructed click chemistry and employ it for POC microbial sensing. In this concept of bacteria-instructed click chemistry, we demonstrate for the first time that pathogenic bacteria can capture and reduce exogenous Cu²⁺ to Cu⁺ by leveraging their unique metabolic processes. The produced Cu⁺ subsequently acts as a catalyst to trigger the click reaction between gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) modified with azide and alkyne functional molecules, resulting in the aggregation of nanoparticles with a color change of the solution from red to blue. In this process, signal amplification from click chemistry is complied with the aggregation of functionalized AuNPs, thus presenting a robust colorimetric strategy for sensitive POC sensing of pathogenic bacteria. Notably, this colorimetric strategy is easily integrated in a smartphone app as a portable platform to achieve one-click detection in a mobile way. Moreover, with the help of the magnetic preseparation process, this smartphone app-assisted platform enables rapid (within 1 h) detection of Escherichia coli with high sensitivity (40 colony-forming units/mL) in the complex artificial sepsis blood samples, showing great potential for clinical early diagnosis of bacterial infections.