Instant Candida albicans Detection Using Ultra-Stable Aptamer Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles

Kimberley Clack, Mohamed Sallam, Serge Muyldermans, Prabhakaran Sambasivam, Cong Minh Nguyen, Nam Trung Nguyen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fungal pathogens such as Candida albicans have significant impacts on women’s health and the economy worldwide. Current detection methods often require access to laboratory facilities that are costly, inconvenient, and slow to access. This often leads to self-diagnosis, self-treatment and eventual antifungal resistance. We have created a rapid (within five minutes), cost-effective, and user-friendly method for the early detection of Candida albicans. Our platform utilises aptamer-tagged-gold-core-shell nanoparticles for Candida albicans detection based on the presence of 1,3-β-d glucan molecules. Nanoparticle aggregation occurs in the presence of Candida albicans fungal cells, causing a redshift in the UV-visible absorbance, turning from pink/purple to blue. This colour change is perceptible by the naked eye and provides a “yes”/“no” result. Our platform was also capable of detecting Candida albicans from individual yeast colonies without prior sample processing, dilution or purification. Candida albicans yeast cells were detected with our platform at concentrations as low as 5 × 105 cells within a 50 μL sample volume. We believe that this technology has the potential to revolutionise women’s health, enabling women to test for Candida albicans accurately and reliably from home. This approach would be advantageous within remote or developing areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number216
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • bioconjugation
  • Candida albicans
  • colorimetric analysis
  • gold nanoparticles
  • nanotechnology


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