Selective optosensing of clenbuterol and melamine using molecularly imprinted polymer-capped CdTe quantum dots

Biosens Bioelectron. 2014 Jul 15;57:310-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2014.02.041. Epub 2014 Feb 25.


A novel procedure for the optosensing of clenbuterol and melamine was developed using molecularly imprinted polymer-capped CdTe quantum dots (MIP-CdTe QDs). The MIP-CdTe QDs were synthesized by a radical polymerization process among CdTe QDs, a template, 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and tetraethoxysilane (TEOS). The sizes of the MIP-CdTe particles were controlled by the speed of polymerization, concentration of the template, concentration of the quantum dots, and the ratio of template, monomer and cross-linker. Excellent selectivity and high sensitivity of MIP-CdTe QDs toward clenbuterol/melamine molecules were observed based on the fluorescence quenching of QDs. Experimental results showed that the optimum molar ratios of template, monomer, and cross-linker were 1:8:20 and 1:4:20 for analyzing clenbuterol and melamine, respectively. Under optimum conditions, these MIP-CdTe QDs showed a limit of detection of 0.4 μM (120 ng/mL) for clenbuterol and 0.6 μM (75 ng/mL) for melamine. The feasibility of the developed method in real samples was successfully evaluated through the analysis of clenbuterol and melamine in milk and liver samples with satisfactory recoveries of 92-97%. The MIP-CdTe QDs could be easily regenerated for subsequent sample analysis with water.

Keywords: CdTe; Clenbuterol; Fluorescence quenching; Melamine; Molecularly imprinted polymer.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Cadmium Compounds / chemistry*
  • Clenbuterol / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Limit of Detection
  • Milk / chemistry
  • Molecular Imprinting
  • Propylamines
  • Quantum Dots / chemistry*
  • Silanes / chemistry
  • Tellurium / chemistry*
  • Triazines / analysis*


  • Adrenergic beta-Agonists
  • Cadmium Compounds
  • Propylamines
  • Silanes
  • Triazines
  • tetraethoxysilane
  • amino-propyl-triethoxysilane
  • melamine
  • Tellurium
  • cadmium telluride
  • Clenbuterol