Development of quantum dots-based biosensor towards on-farm detection of subclinical ketosis

Xuan Weng, Longyan Chen, Suresh Neethirajan*, Todd Duffield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Early detection of dairy animal health issues allows the producer or veterinarian to intervene before the animals' production levels,or even survival, is threatened. An increased concentration of β-hydroxybutyrate (βHBA) is a key biomarker for diagnosis of subclinical ketosis (SCK), and provides information on the health stress in cows well before any external symptoms are observable. In this study, quantum dots (QDs) modified with cofactor nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) were prepared for the sensing event, by which the βHBA concentration in the cow's blood and milk samples was determined via fluorescence analysis of the functionalized QDs. The detection was performed on a custom designed microfluidic platform combining with a low cost and miniaturized optical sensor. The sensing mechanism was first validated by a microplate reader method and then applied to the microfluidic platform. Standard βHBA solution, βHBA in blood and milk samples from cows were successfully measured by this novel technology with a detection limit at a level of 35μM. Side by side comparison of the developed microfluidic biosensor with a commercial kit presented its good performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Microfluidics
  • Quantum dots
  • Subclinical ketosis
  • β-hydroxybutyrate

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