We introduce a novel solid-phase colorimetric sensor facilely fabricated by loading unmodified gold nanoparticles into poly(oligo(ethylene glycol)methacrylate) (POEGMA) brushes grown on glass. Our work reports the first synergistic combination of metallic nanoparticles acting as a colorimetric sensing module with a nonfouling polymer matrix acting both as a nonrigid scaffold and a screen to reduce interference from nontarget molecules. In addition, as the nanocomposite is formed on a transparent substrate, solid-phase detection can be performed in the same manner as in the solution-phase. We demonstrate the use of this unique platform for label-free lead detection based on the release of gold nanoparticles from the polymer brush upon exposure to lead ions. An ultralow limit-of-detection of 25 pM (S/N = 3) and a dynamic range of 100 pM to 100 nM (R2 = 0.987) are achieved. Furthermore, the detection is up to 1000-fold more selective to lead over other common heavy metal ions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry