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Graphene Oxide/Nucleic-Acid-Stabilized Silver Nanoclusters: Functional Hybrid Materials for Optical Aptamer Sensing and Multiplexed Analysis of Pathogenic DNAs

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journal contribution
posted on 14.08.2013, 00:00 by Xiaoqing Liu, Fuan Wang, Ruth Aizen, Omer Yehezkeli, Itamar Willner
Hybrid systems consisting of nucleic-acid-functionalized silver nanoclusters (AgNCs) and graphene oxide (GO) are used for the development of fluorescent DNA sensors and aptasensors, and for the multiplexed analysis of a series of genes of infectious pathogens. Two types of nucleic-acid-stabilized AgNCs are used: one type includes the red-emitting AgNCs (616 nm) and the second type is near-infrared-emitting AgNCs (775 nm). Whereas the nucleic-acid-stabilized AgNCs do not bind to GO, the conjugation of single-stranded nucleic acid to the DNA-stabilized AgNCs leads to the adsorption of the hybrid nanostructures to GO and to the fluorescence quenching of the AgNCs. By the conjugation of oligonucleotide sequences acting as probes for target genes, or as aptamer sequences, to the nucleic-acid-protected AgNCs, the desorption of the probe/nucleic-acid-stabilized AgNCs from GO through the formation of duplex DNA structures or aptamer–substrate complexes leads to the generation of fluorescence as a readout signal for the sensing events. The hybrid nanostructures are implemented for the analysis of hepatitis B virus gene (HBV), the immunodeficiency virus gene (HIV), and the syphilis (Treponema pallidum) gene. Multiplexed analysis of the genes is demonstrated. The nucleic-acid-AgNCs-modified GO is also applied to detect ATP or thrombin through the release of the respective AgNCs-labeled aptamer–substrate complexes from GO.