Type-B aflatoxins (AFB1
) frequently contaminate food, especially nuts and fried figs, and seriously threaten human health; hence, it is necessary for the newly rapid and sensitive detection methods to prevent the consumption of potentially contaminated food. Here, a lateral flow aptasensor for the detection of type-B aflatoxins was developed. It is based on the use of fluorescent dye Cy5 as a label for the aptamer, and on the competition between type-B aflatoxins and the complementary DNA of the aptamer. This is the first time that the complementary strand of the aptamer has been used as the test line (T-line) to detect type-B aflatoxins. In addition, the truncated aptamer was used to improve the affinity with type-B aflatoxins in our study. Therefore, the lengths of aptamer and cDNA probe were optimized as key parameters for higher sensitivity. In addition, binding buffer and organic solvent were investigated. The results showed that the best pair for achieving improved sensitivity and accuracy in detecting AFB1
was formed by a shorter aptamer (32 bases) coupled with the probe complementary to the AFB1
binding region of the aptamer. Under the optimal experimental conditions, the test strip showed an excellent linear relationship in the range from 0.2 to 20 ng/mL with a limit of detection of 0.16 ng/mL. This aptamer-based strip was successfully applied to the determination of type-B aflatoxins in spiked and commercial peanuts, almonds, and dried figs, and the recoveries of the spiked samples were from 93.3%−112.0%. The aptamer-complementary strand-based lateral flow test strip is a potential alternative tool for the rapid and sensitive detection of type-B aflatoxins in nuts and dried figs. It is of help for monitoring aflatoxins to avoid the consumption of unsafe food.
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