Detection of DNA using an "off-on" switch of a regenerating biosensor based on an electron transfer mechanism from glutathione-capped CdTe quantum dots to nile blue

Yizhong Shen, Shaopu Liu, Ling Kong, Xuanping Tan, Youqiu He, Jidong Yang
Analyst 2014 November 21, 139 (22): 5858-67
Although various strategies have been reported for double-stranded DNA (DNA) detection, development of a time-saving, specific, and regeneratable fluorescence sensing platform still remains a desired goal. In this study, we proposed a new DNA detection method that relies on an "off-on" switch of a regenerated fluorescence biosensor based on an electron transfer mechanism from glutathione (GSH)-capped CdTe quantum dots (QDs) to nile blue (NB). Initially, the high fluorescence of GSH-capped CdTe QDs could be effectively quenched by NB due to the binding of NB to the GSH on the surface of the QDs and the electron transfer from the photoexcited GSH-capped CdTe QDs to NB. Then, the high affinity of DNA to NB enabled the NB to be dissociated from the surface of GSH-capped CdTe QDs to form a more stable complex with DNA and suppress the electron transfer process between GSH-capped CdTe QDs and NB, thereby restoring the fluorescence of NB surface modified GSH-capped CdTe QDs (QDs-NB). In addition, we have testified the regenerability of the proposed DNA senor. The corresponding result shows that this DNA sensor is stable for two reuses. This fluorescence "off-on" signal was sensitive to the concentration of DNA in the range from 0.0092 to 25.0 μg mL(-1) with a good correlation coefficient of 0.9989, and the detection limit (3σ/S) was 2.78 ng mL(-1). To further investigate for perfect analysis performance, the developed biosensor was applied for the determination of DNA in human fresh serum samples with satisfactory results.

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