A fluorescence turn-on biosensor based on graphene quantum dots (GQDs) and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanosheets for epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) detection

Jingyu Shi, Jing Lyu, Feng Tian, Mo Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a “turn-on” fluorescence biosensor based on graphene quantum dots (GQDs) and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanosheets for rapid and sensitive detection of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM). PEGylated GQDs were used as donor molecules, which could not only largely increase emission intensity but also prevent non-specific adsorption of PEGylated GQD on MoS2surface. The sensing platform was realized by adsorption of PEGylated GQD labelled EpCAM aptamer onto MoS2surface via van der Waals force. The fluorescence signal of GQD was then quenched by MoS2nanosheets via fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) mechanism. In the presence of EpCAM protein, the stronger specific affinity interaction between aptamer and EpCAM protein could detach GQD labelled EpCAM aptamer from MoS2nanosheets, leading to the restoration of fluorescence intensity. By monitoring the change of fluorescence signal, the target EpCAM protein could be detected sensitively and selectively with a linear detection range from 3 nM to 54 nM and limit of detection (LOD) around 450 pM. In addition, this nanobiosensor has been successfully used for EpCAM-expressed breast cancer MCF-7 cell detection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2017


  • Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)
  • Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)
  • Graphene quantum dots (GQDs)
  • Molybdenum disulfide (MoS ) 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry

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