Ratio-metric sensor to detect riboflavin via fluorescence resonance energy transfer with ultrahigh sensitivity

Jilong Wang, Siheng Su, Junhua Wei, Roya Bahgi, Louisa Hope-Weeks, Jingjing Qiu, Shiren Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


In this paper, a novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) ration-metric fluorescent probe based on heteroatom N, S doped carbon dots (N, S-CDs) was developed to determine riboflavin in aqueous solutions. The ratio of two emission intensities at different wavelengths is applied to determine the concentration of riboflavin (RF). This method is more effective in reducing the background interference and fluctuation of diverse conditions. Therefore, this probe obtains high sensitivity with a low limit of detection (LOD) of 1.9 nM (0.7 ng/ml) which is in the highest level of all riboflavin detection approaches and higher than single wavelength intensity detection (1.9 μM). In addition, this sensor has a high selectivity of detecting riboflavin in deionized water (pH=7) with other biochemical like amino acids. Moreover, riboflavin in aqueous solution is very sensitive to sunlight and can be degraded to lumiflavin, which is toxic. Because the N, S doped carbon dots cannot serve as an energy donor for N, S doped carbon dots and lumiflavin system, this system makes it easy to determine whether the riboflavin is degraded or not, which is first to be reported. This platform may provide possibilities to build a new and facile fluorescence resonance energy transfer based sensor to detect analytes and metamorphous analytes in aqueous solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica E: Low-Dimensional Systems and Nanostructures
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


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