We demonstrate the use of luminescent QDs conjugated to antibody fragments to develop solution-phase nanoscale sensing assemblies, based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) for the specific detection of the explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) in aqueous environments. The hybrid sensor consists of anti-TNT specific antibody fragments attached to a hydrophilic QD via metal-affinity coordination. A dye-labeled TNT analogue prebound in the antibody binding site quenches the QD photoluminescence via proximity-induced FRET. Analysis of the data collected at increasing dye-labeled analogue to QD ratios provided an insight into understanding how the antibody fragments self-assemble on the QD. Addition of soluble TNT displaces the dye-labeled analogue, eliminating FRET and resulting in a concentration-dependent recovery of QD photoluminescence. Sensor performance and specificity were evaluated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry