Xiaoyu Ma is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Connecticut, USA. She earned her Bachelor degree in 2012 from Northwest A&F University, China. Her research concentrates on biodegradable hydrogel for biomedical applications.


Malaria plagues seriously in some tropical parts of the world, partly due to thelack of low-cost, sensitive diagnostic tools accessible.A simple way for fast monitoring malaria infection is to detect the elevated level of heme/heminin the blood serum. In this study, fluorescent protein nanoparticles were prepared and then employed to develop a novel optical biosensor for heme/hemin detection.The as-prepared protein nanoparticles were characterized by various advanced technologies. Its application for ultrasensitive heme/hemin detection was also demonstrated as the fluorescence intensity of the protein nanoparticles were quenched significantly upon the titration of hemin. The ultrasensitive sensing performance is ascribed to Photo-induced Electron Transfer (PET) as well as specific interactionbetween hemin and the fluorescent protein nanoparticles. The present study provides insights into the design of a cheap, simple and highly sensitive heme/hemin fluorescence biosensor which holds great potential for a broad spectrum of applications.