A fluorometric assay is described for doxycycline detection. It is based on the use of nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (NCQDs) coated with molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). The NCQDs were prepared by a one-step hydrothermal reaction using citric acid and ethylenediamine (EDA) as the starting materials. Afterwards, the NCQDs were incorporated into the polymer that was molecularly imprinted with doxycycline. It is found that doxycycline quenches the fluorescence of the NCQDs, and that the functional groups on the surface of NCQDs play an important role in terms of quenching efficiency. A larger fraction of carboxyl groups presented on the surface of NCQDs leads to a higher quenching efficiency due to the enhanced electron transfer from NCQD to doxycycline. The NCQDs@MIP composite can specifically and rapidly recognize doxycycline. Fluorescence drops linearly in the 5 to 50 μMdoxycycline concentration range, and the limit of detection is 87 nM. This method was successfully applied to the determination of doxycycline in spiked pig serum where it gave recovery rates of >94%.
- Nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots
- Stern-Volmer plot
- Molecularly imprinted polymers
- Fluorescence quenching
- Pig serum