Chemosphere. 2022 Aug 19:136108. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.136108. Online ahead of print.
Explosives are powerful destructive weapons used by criminals and terrorists across the globe and their use within military installation sites poses serious environmental health problems. Existing colorimetric sensors for triacetone triperoxide (TATP) relies on detecting its hydrolysed H2O2 form. However, such detection strategy limits the practicability for on-site TATP sensing. In this work, we have developed a novel peroxidase mimic catalytic colorimetric sensor for direct recognition of TATP. Ceria (Ce)-doped Fe3O4 nanoparticles (CeFe3O4) were synthesized via the hot-injection organic synthetic route in the presence of metal precursors and organic ligands. Thereafter, the organic-capped CeFe3O4 nanoparticles were surface-functionalized with amphiphilic polymers (Amp-poly) to render the nanoparticle stable, compact and biocompatible. Thiolated γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD) was adsorbed on the Amp-poly-CeFe3O4 nanocomposite (NC) surface to form a γ-CD-Amp-poly-CeFe3O4 NC. γ-CD served both as a receptor and as a catalytic enhancer for TATP. Hemin (H), used as a catalytic signal amplifier was adsorbed on the γ-CD-Amp-poly-CeFe3O4 NC surface to form a γ-CD-Amp-poly-CeFe3O4-H NC that served as a functional nanozyme for the enhanced catalytic colorimetric detection of TATP. Under optimum experimental reaction conditions, TATP prepared in BIS-TRIS-Trisma Ac-KAc-NAc buffer, pH 3, was selectively and ultrasensitively detected without the need for acid hydrolysis based on the catalytic oxidation of 3,3′,5,5′-tetramethylbenzidine by H2O2 in the presence of the γ-CD-Amp-poly-CeFe3O4-H hybrid nanozyme. The obtained limit of detection of ∼0.05 μg/mL when compared with other published probes demonstrated superior sensitivity. The developed peroxidase mimic γ-CD-Amp-poly-CeFe3O4-H catalytic colorimetric sensor was successfully applied to detect TATP in soil, river water and tap water samples.