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Bovine serum albumin-stabilized gold nanoclusters as fluorescent probe for enzyme-free detection of glyphosate

Ziyu Yan, Huiwen Wang, Sihao Wu, Zoujun Peng, Juanhua Lai, and Ping Qiu

Department of Chemistry, Nanchang University, Nanchang, China



Received: 15 September 2022  Accepted: 2 December 2022


In present study, bovine serum albumin (BAS)-stabilized gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) combined with Cu2+ were used for rapid fluorimetric detection of glyphosate in water samples. The morphology and optical properties of synthesized BSA-AuNCs were characterized by TEM, UV–Vis spectroscopy and fluorescence techniques. Theoretically, Cu2+ would react with the tryptophan of BSA-AuNCs, thereby disrupting the surface structure of BSA-AuNCs and allowing aggregation of dispersed BSA-AuNCs, which showed the function to quenching the red fluorescence of BSA-AuNCs at 680 nm. However, in the presence of glyphosate in the system, there are strong chelation interactions between Cu2+ and glyphosate, so the fluorescence of BSA-AuNCs was restored and the recovered intensity is related to the glyphosate concentration. As a result, a linear graph between the fluorescence intensity with glyphosate concentration in the range of 0.06–12 μg/mL was plotted and used for quantification of glyphosate with a detection limit of 8 ng/mL. Satisfactory recoveries were obtained in the determination of spiked water samples, demonstrating that the prepared BSA-AuNCs can be used as a promising tool in the field of environment monitoring of glyphosate residue.

Keywords: BSA; Gold nanoclusters; Copper ion; Fluorometry; Glyphosate

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02621-2


Chemical Papers 77 (4) 2183–2192 (2023)

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