Biogenic amines have attracted interest among researchers because of their importance as biomarkers in determining the quality of food freshness in the food industry. A rapid and simple technique that is able to detect biogenic amines is needed. In this work, a new optical sensing material for one of the biogenic amines, histamine, based on a new zinc(II) salphen complex was developed. The binding of zinc(II) complexes without an electron-withdrawing group (complex 1) and with electron-withdrawing groups (F, complex 2; Cl, complex 3) to histamine resulted in enhancement of fluorescence. All complexes exhibited high affinity for histamine [binding constant of (7.14 ± 0.80) × 104, (3.33 ± 0.03) × 105, and (2.35 ± 0.14) × 105 M-1, respectively]. Complex 2 was chosen as the sensing material for further development of an optical sensor for biogenic amines in the following step since it displayed enhanced optical properties in comparison with complexes 1 and 3. The optical sensor for biogenic amines used silica microparticles as the immobilisation support and histamine as the analyte. The optical sensor had a limit of detection for histamine of 4.4 × 10-12 M, with a linear working range between 1.0 × 10-11 and 1.0 × 10-6 M (R2 = 0.9844). The sensor showed good reproducibility, with a low relative standard deviation (5.5 %). In addition, the sensor exhibited good selectivity towards histamine and cadaverine over other amines, such as 1,2-phenylenediamine, triethylamine, and trimethylamine. Recovery and real sample studies suggested that complex 2 could be a promising biogenic amine optical sensing material that can be applied in the food industry, especially in controlling the safety of food for it to remain fresh and healthy for consumption.
A fluorogenic probe has been developed for determination of telomerase activity using chimeric DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (AgNCs). The formation of AgNCs was investigated before (route A) and after (route B) telomerase elongation reaction. Both routes caused selective quenching of the yellow emission of the AgNCs (best measured at excitation/emission wavelength of 470/557 nm) in telomerase-positive samples. The quenching mechanism was studied using synthetically elongated DNA to mimic the telomerase-catalyzed elongation. The findings show that quenching is due to the formation of parallel G-quadruplexes with a -TTA- loop in the telomerase elongated products. The assay was validated using different cancer cell extracts, with intra- and interassay coefficients of variations of <9.8%. The limits of detection for MCF7, RPMI 2650 and HT29 cell lines are 15, 22 and 39 cells/μL. This represents a distinct improvement over the existing telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay in terms of time, sensitivity and cost. Graphical Abstract A method was developed using chimeric DNA-templated silver nanoclusters to detect telomerase activity directly in cell extracts. The sensitivity of this new method outperforms the traditional TRAP assay, and without the need for amplification.
The development of a reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography fluorescence method for the determination of the mycotoxins fumonisin B(1) and fumonisin B(2) by using silica-based monolithic column is described. The samples were first extracted using acetonitrile:water (50:50, v/v) and purified by using a C(18) solid phase extraction-based clean-up column. Then, pre-column derivatization for the analyte using ortho-phthaldialdehyde in the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol was carried out. The developed method involved optimization of mobile phase composition using methanol and phosphate buffer, injection volume, temperature and flow rate. The liquid chromatographic separation was performed using a reversed phase Chromolith(®) RP-18e column (100 mm × 4.6 mm) at 30 °C and eluted with a mobile phase of a mixture of methanol and phosphate buffer pH 3.35 (78:22, v/v) at a flow rate of 1.0 mL min(-1). The fumonisins separation was achieved in about 4 min, compared to approximately 20 min by using a C(18) particle-packed column. The fluorescence excitation and emission were at 335 nm and 440 nm, respectively. The limits of detections were 0.01-0.04 μg g(-1) fumonisin B(1) and fumonisin B(2), respectively. Good recoveries were found for spiked samples (0.1, 0.5, 1.5 μg g(-1) fumonisins B(1) and B(2)), ranging from 84.0 to 106.0% for fumonisin B(1) and from 81.0 to 103.0% for fumonisin B(2). Fifty-three samples were analyzed including 39 food and feeds and 14 inoculated corn and rice. Results show that 12.8% of the food and feed samples were contaminated with fumonisin B(1) (range, 0.01-0.51 μg g(-1)) and fumonisin B(2) (0.05 μg g(-1)). The total fumonisins in these samples however, do not exceed the legal limits established by the European Union of 0.8 μg g(-1). Of the 14 inoculated samples, 57.1% contained fumonisin B(1) (0.16-41.0 μg g(-1)) and fumonisin B(2) (range, 0.22-50.0 μg g(-1)). Positive confirmation of selected samples was carried out using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, using triple quadrupole analyzer and operated in the multiple reaction monitoring mode.