American Chemical Society
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Ultrasensitive Nucleic Acid Assay Based on AIE-Active Polymer Dots with Excellent Electrochemiluminescence Stability

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-04-23, 15:33 authored by Nan Zhang, Hang Gao, Yi-Lei Jia, Jian-Bin Pan, Xi-Liang Luo, Hong-Yuan Chen, Jing-Juan Xu
Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) active Pdots are attractive nanomaterials applied in electrochemiluminescence (ECL) fields, while the irreversible redox reaction of these Pdots is a prevailing problem, resulting in instability of ECL emission. Herein, we first designed and synthesized an AIE-active Pdot with reversible redox property, which contains a tetraphenylethene derivate and benzothiadiazole (BT) to achieve stable ECL emission. BT has a good rigid structure with excellent electrochemical behaviors, which is beneficial for avoiding the destruction of the conjugated structure as much as possible during the preparation of Pdots, thus maintaining good redox property. The tetraphenylethene derivate, as a typical AIE-active moiety, provides a channel for highly efficient luminescence in the aggregated states. The Pdots exhibited reversible and quasi-reversible electrochemical behaviors during cathodic and anodic scanning, respectively. The stable annihilation, reductive–oxidative, and oxidative–reductive ECL signals were observed. Subsequently, we constructed an ultrasensitive ECL biosensor based on the oxidative–reductive ECL mode for the detection of miRNA-21 with a detection limit of 32 aM. This work provides some inspiration for the future design of ECL materials featuring AIE-active property and stable ECL emission.