Designing a facile and rapid detection method for haptoglobin (Hp) phenotypes in human blood plasma is urgently needed to meet clinic requirements in hemolysis theranostics. In this work, a novel approach to qualitatively analyze Hp phenotypes was developed using a fluorescent probe of gold nanoclusters (AuNCs). Hemoglobin-conjugated (Hb)-AuNCs were successfully synthesized with blue-green fluorescence and high biocompatibility via one-pot synthesis. The fluorescence of Hb-AuNCs comes from the ligand-metal charge transfer between surface ligands of Hb and the gold cores with high oxidation states. The biocompatibility assays including cell viability and fluorescence imaging, demonstrated high biocompatibility of Hb-AuNCs. For the qualitative analysis, three Hp phenotypes in plasma, Hp 1-1, Hp 2-1, and Hp 2-2, were successfully discriminated according to changes in the fluorescence intensity and peak position of the maximum intensity of Hb-AuNCs. Our work provides a practical method with facile and rapid properties for the qualitative analysis of three Hp phenotypes in human blood plasma.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 29 2020

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