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Luminescently doped nanoparticles. Strategies for improving sensitivity in luminescence assays and implementation in microarray formats

Final Report Summary - NANOLUM (Luminescently doped nanoparticles. Strategies for improving sensitivity in luminescence assays and implementation in microarray formats)

The need of miniaturisation and sensitivity in (bio)chemical sensing makes luminescent-based detection methods highly appealing. The boom in nanotechnologies, together with the versatility offered by hybrid organic-inorganic materials, motivated us to explore the possibilities of different luminiscently-doped nanomaterials as optochemical sensor platforms. Different photochemical signalling mechanisms have been explored, namely Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) coupled to ligand-to-metal charge transfer (LMCT) emission from long lived luminophores, excited state proton transfer (ESPT), photoinduced electron transfer (PET) quenching, electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) and signal amplification based on plasmons generated over nanometallic surfaces. The most appropriate luminescent label for each case (boron dipyrromethenes, cyanines, ruthenium (II) polypyridyl complexes, phenazines, etc.) has been designed and synthesised. The luminescent materials were prepared mostly in nanoscaled format (core-shell nanoparticles, silica nanobeads, or nanofibres). Molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) materials as recognition elements have also been investigated. Benchmark sensor designs have focused on the detection of fluoroquinolones, a family of antibiotics which are of widespread use in both human and veterinary medicine, becoming a health and safety concern in food and water quality control.

Societal benefits from the project outcomes include those related to advanced sensor technologies, luminescent labels and functional (smart) nanomaterials. This multidisciplinary project will have an impact on the development and application of versatile sensor systems for optical detection of different chemical species of toxicological, environmental or health relevance, such as antibiotics or mycotoxins. Better detection systems, able to measure the target pollutant species in their original matrices with minimum sample treatment and lower costs, are bound to have a strong effect on the quality monitoring and control of food and water supplies. A tighter control at a reduced cost means better quality of life for the world inhabitants regardless their place of living.

Contact details:

Dr Ana B. Descalzo
Department of Organic Chemistry
Faculty of Chemistry
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
28040 Madrid (Spain)
Tel: +34-913-945244
E-mail: ab.descalzo@quim.ucm.es

Prof. Guillermo Orellana
Department of Organic Chemistry
Faculty of Chemistry
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
28040 Madrid (Spain)
Tel: +34-913-944220
E-mail: orellana@quim.ucm.es
URL: http://www.ucm.es/info/gsolfa