Theranostics 2020; 10(11):5064-5073. doi:10.7150/thno.42601 This issue

Research Paper

Point-of-care assay for drunken driving with Pd@Pt core-shell nanoparticles-decorated ploy(vinyl alcohol) aerogel assisted by portable pressure meter

Yu Zhang1, Quanyi Liu1,2, Chong-Bo Ma1,3✉, Qingqing Wang1, Meiting Yang1, Yan Du1,2✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, Jilin 130022, China.
2. Department of Chemistry, University of Science & Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
3. Key Laboratory of Nanobiosensing and Nanobioanalysis at Universities of Jilin Province, Key Laboratory of Polyoxometalate Science of Ministry of Education, National & Local United Engineering Laboratory for Power Batteries, Department of Chemistry, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin Province 130024, China

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Zhang Y, Liu Q, Ma CB, Wang Q, Yang M, Du Y. Point-of-care assay for drunken driving with Pd@Pt core-shell nanoparticles-decorated ploy(vinyl alcohol) aerogel assisted by portable pressure meter. Theranostics 2020; 10(11):5064-5073. doi:10.7150/thno.42601. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Alcohol abuse causes health problems and security accidents. A reliable and sensitive detection system for alcohol has been an instinctive demand in law enforcement and forensic. More efforts are demanded in developing new sensing strategy preferably with portable and non-invasive traits for the pushforward of point-of-care (POC) device popularization.

Methods: We developed a POC diagnosis system for alcohol assay with the aid of alcohol oxidase (AOX) pre-joining in the system as well as Pd@Pt core-shell nanoparticles (abbreviated to Pd@Pt) that were decorated on ploy(vinyl alcohol) aerogel with amphiphilicity. Biological samples like saliva and whole blood can be absorbed by the aerogel in a quick process, in which the analyte would go through a transformation from alcohol, H2O2, to a final production of O2, causing an analyte dose-dependent signal change in the commercial portable pressure meter. The cascade reactions are readily catalyzed by AOX and Pd@Pt, of which the latter one possesses excellent peroxidase-like activity.

Results: Our design has smartness embodied in the aerogel circumvents the interference from methanol which is more ready to be catalyzed by AOX. Under the optimal conditions, the limit of detection for alcohol was 0.50 mM in saliva, and is able to distinguish the driving under the influence (DUI) (1.74 mM in saliva) and driving while impaired (DWI) (6.95 mM in saliva) in the national standard of China.

Conclusion: Our proof-of-concept study provides the possibility for the establishment of POC device for alcohol and other target detection, not only owing to the sensing qualification but also thanks to the architecture of such sensor that has great flexibility by replacing the AOX with glucose oxidase (GOX), thenceforth realizing the accurate detection of glucose in 0.5% whole blood sample. With the advantages of easy accessibility and anti-interference ability, our sensor exhibits great potential for quantitative diagnostics in biological system.

Keywords: point-of-care, Pd@Pt core-shell nanoparticles, poly(vinyl alcohol) aerogel, alcohol sensing, portable pressure meter