Luminescent silica nanoparticles for sensing acetylcholinesterase-catalyzed hydrolysis of acetylcholine

Biosens Bioelectron. 2016 Mar 15;77:871-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2015.10.059. Epub 2015 Oct 22.


This work highlights the H-function of Tb(III)-doped silica nanoparticles in aqueous solutions of acetic acid as a route to sense acetylcholinesterase-catalyzed hydrolysis of acetylcholine (ACh). The H-function results from H(+)-induced quenching of Tb(III)-centered luminescence due to protonation of Tb(III) complexes located close to silica/water interface. The H-function can be turned on/switched off by the concentration of complexes within core or nanoparticle shell zones, by the silica surface decoration and adsorption of both organic and inorganic cations on silica surface. Results indicate the optimal synthetic procedure for making nanoparticles capable of sensing acetic acid produced by enzymatic hydrolysis of acetylcholine. The H-function of nanoparticles was determined at various concentrations of ACh and AChE. The measurements show experimental conditions for fitting the H-function to Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Results confirm that reliable fluorescent monitoring AChE-catalyzed hydrolysis of ACh is possible through the H-function properties of Tb(III)-doped silica nanoparticles.

Keywords: Acetylcholine; Acetylcholinesterase; Enzymatic hydrolysis; Luminescence; Silica nanoparticles; Tb(III) complex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / chemistry*
  • Acetylcholinesterase / analysis*
  • Acetylcholinesterase / chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Luminescence
  • Luminescent Measurements / instrumentation*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry*


  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Acetylcholine