CdTe/CdS/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) were synthesized in aqueous phase and conjugated with a new anti-zearalenone (ZEN) monoclonal antibody. Using this novel fluorescent probe, a fluoroimmunoassay (FLISA) and a rapid immunochromatographic strip (ICTS) were developed for the detection of ZEN in maize. Our proposed FLISA allowed for ZEN determination in the range of 0.038–0.977 ng/mL with an IC50 of 0.162 ng/mL and a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.012 ng/mL occurring in maize. The rapid ICTS had a visual LOD of 1.0 ng/mL in buffer solution and 1.5 ng/mL in maize extract. These two QDs-based immunoassays were all successfully verified by commercial ELISA kits. The results confirmed that: firstly, the FLISA can be used as a robust method for the sensitive detection of ZEN; and secondly, the ICTS is ideally suited for rapidly screening large numbers of samples.
- Immunochromatographic strip
- Quantum dots