Cellulose-Derived Carbon Dots for Inner Filter Effect-Based Selective Sensing of Ofloxacin Antibiotics

Ruchi Aggarwal, Anjali Kumari Garg, Vishrant Kumar, Harshita Jonwal, Sonia Sethi, Srushti Gadiyaram, Sumit Sonkar (Corresponding Author), Amit Sonker (Corresponding Author), Gunnar Westman (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A two-step viable synthetic approach for quick and energy-efficient acid-based charring is described here to fabricate self-passivated fluorescent water-soluble CD (wsCD) from sustainable microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) materials. The aqueous solution of wsCD exhibits blue emission under UV-light illumination and shows a fluorescence quantum yield of ∼6%. The wsCD are used here for the selective sensing of ofloxacin (OFLX) from among the four tested antibiotics of the fluoroquinolone class, namely, ciprofloxacin (CPLX), ofloxacin (OFLX), levofloxacin (LVLX), and moxifloxacin (MXLX) based on the simpler fluorescence quenching experiment with a detection limit of ∼0.025 ppm. The plausible mechanism for the selective sensing of OFLX has been proposed based on a detailed analysis of absorbance and time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy which indicates the involvement of the inner-filter effect (IFE). Antimicrobial studies of wsCD were conducted on two bacterial strains (Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus) and two fungal strains (Aspergillus niger and Penicillium chrysogenum), where wsCD did not show any toxic effects up to the concentration of 1 mg/mL, hence supporting their biocompatible behavior. Further, an antibiosis study involving the combination of the antibiotic and antifungal agents with wsCD against the growth of the same bacterial and fungal strains was conducted, where wsCD showed mild antifungal activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6518-6527
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • antibiotics
  • carbon dots
  • cellulose
  • fluorescence
  • sensing
  • water-soluble carbon dots


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