Layer-by-Layer Assembled Smectite-Polymer Nanocomposite Film for Rapid Detection of Low-Concentration Aflatoxins
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Aflatoxin is a potent biological toxin produced by fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Current quantification methods for aflatoxins are mostly established on immunoaffinity columns which are both costly and labor intensive. Inspired by smectites’ high aflatoxin adsorption capacity and affinity, a novel aflatoxin quantification sensor based on smectite-polyacrylamide (PAM) nanocomposite was fabricated. First, a smectite-PAM nanocomposite film was synthesized on flat silicon substrates which assembled smectite particles from the clay suspension. A layer-by-layer assembly process was developed to achieve uniform morphology and thickness of the nanocomposite films. During the aflatoxin quantification process, positive correlations between the fluorescence intensity from the aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) adsorbed smectite-PAM nanocomposite films and the AFB1 concentration in the test solutions were obtained. The smectite-PAM nanocomposite film has shown similar AFB1 adsorption capabilities as the smectite. Second, the smectite-PAM nanocomposite film was optimized in order to achieve the aflatoxin quantification at ppb level (below 20ppb) in corn extraction solutions. The smectite was modified by Ba2+, which had demonstrated to be able to improve its aflatoxin adsorption capacity. PAM aqueous solutions with the mass concentration ranging from 0.8% to 0.001% were tested. The results showed that the nanocomposite synthesized from 0.005% concentration of PAM solution generated the best properties. After the optimization, the smectite-PAM nanocomposite films achieved the detection of aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2 (AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2) in 10 ppb corn extraction solution. Aflatoxin quantifications in AFB1 and AFB2 mixture solution, AFB1 and AFB2 mixture solution and AFB1 and AFG1 mixture solution were conducted, and the recoveries of last test ranged from 90.52% to 110.11% at low aflatoxin concentration (below 20 ppb). Third, in order to shorten the quantification duration and simplify the detection process, a novel aflatoxin detection array based on smectite-PAM nanocomposite and an improved fluorometric quantification method were developed. Through a microfluidic chip, the reaction time was reduced to 10~20min. Two concentration levels (20~80ppb/5~15ppb) of aflatoxin B1 spiked corn extraction solutions were tested. In the fluorometric quantification step, a common lab-use 365 nm ultraviolet lamp replaced the spectrofluorometer which simplified and accelerated the process.
Hu, He 1987- (2012). Layer-by-Layer Assembled Smectite-Polymer Nanocomposite Film for Rapid Detection of Low-Concentration Aflatoxins. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from