Graphene Quantum Dots and Graphene Oxide-Based Biosensors for Detection of Cancer Biomarkers and Heavy Metals

Wednesday, 8 October 2014: 14:40
Sunrise, 2nd Floor, Galactic Ballroom 8 (Moon Palace Resort)
N. Wu and M. Li (West Virginia University)
Generally organic dye molecules are used as both the energy donor and acceptor in fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) systems.1,2 However, organic dyes suffer  from photobleaching. Graphene and graphene oxide (GO) were recently developed as both the donor and the acceptor for energy transfer-based fluorescent sensors.3-5 A fluorescent dye to graphene follows the nano-surface energy transfer (NSET) mechanism.

Herein a fluorescent sensor based on the quantum dot (QD)/aptamer-GO complex is constructed in which GO acts an energy acceptor. This sensor is highly sensitive to Pb(II) with a limit of detection of 90 pM. On the other hand, with GO as the energy donor, a fluorescent sensor has also been developed for Hg2+ detection.

In addition, graphene quantum dots have been used as the energy acceptor to build fluorescent sensor for cancer biomarker detection.

This work was financially supported by a NSF grant (CBET-1336205). The resource and facilities used were partially supported by NSF (EPS 1003907) and a Research Challenge Grant from the State of West Virginia (EPS08-01).


(1)   S. K. Cushing, M. Li, F. Huang, N. Q. Wu, Origin of strong excitation wavelength dependent fluorescence of graphene oxide, ACS Nano, 8 (2014), 1002-1013i,

(2)   M. Li, H. Gou, I. Al-Ogaidi, N. Q. Wu, Nanostructured sensors for detection of heavy metals: a review, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 1 (2013), 713-723

(3)   M. Li, X. Zhou, S. Guo, N. Q. Wu, Detection of lead (II) with a "turn-on" fluorescent biosensor based on energy transfer from CdSe/ZnS quantum dots to graphene oxide, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 43 (2013), 69-74.

(4)   M. Li, X. Zhou, W. Ding, S. Guo, N. Q. Wu, Fluorescent aptamer-functionalized graphene oxide biosensor for label-free detection of Mercury(II), Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 41 (2013), 889-893

(5)   I. Al-Ogaidi, H. Gou, Z. P. Aguilar, S. Guo, A. K. Melconian, A. Kareem A. Al-kazaz, F. Meng*, and N. Q. Wu, Detection of the ovarian cancer biomarker CA-125 using chemiluminescence resonance energy transfer to graphene quantum dots, Chemical Communications, 50 (2014), 1344-1346