Assays for detecting tetanus toxoid are of great significance to be applied in the research of the safety testing of tetanus vaccine. Currently, guinea pigs or mice are usually used to evaluate the toxicity in these assays. Herein, a facile and quick biomineralization process was carried out to generate tetanus human immunoglobulin G (Tet-IgG)-functionalized Au nanoclusters (Tet-IgG-AuNCs). The obtained Tet-IgG-AuNCs exhibited strong red emission with a photoluminescence quantum yield of 13%. Based on surface plasmon resonance measurements, the apparent dissociation constant of the Tet-IgG-AuNC-tetanus toxoid complexes was measured to be 2.27 × 10 M. A facile detection approach was developed using a fluorescent Tet-IgG-AuNC-based immunochromatography test strip. By utilizing the high-brightness fluorescent Tet-IgG-AuNCs, this immunosensor showed favorable sensitivity with a detection limit at the level of 0.03 μg/mL. Further results demonstrated that this assay can reliably detect tetanus toxoid and therefore might provide a novel method to replace animal tests for the quantification of tetanus toxicity. Moreover, the antibody-AuNC-based immunochromatography test strip platform serves as a promising candidate to develop new approaches for detecting targeted antigens and biological events of interest.
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