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Biosensors 2013, 3(2), 185-200;

DNA/RNA Detection Using DNA-Templated Few-Atom Silver Nanoclusters

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
College of Natural Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 78745, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 March 2013 / Revised: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 11 April 2013 / Published: 23 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano and Micro DNA/RNA Sensors)
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DNA-templated few-atom silver nanoclusters (DNA/Ag NCs) are a new class of organic/inorganic composite nanomaterials whose fluorescence emission can be tuned throughout the visible and near-IR range by simply programming the template sequences. Compared to organic dyes, DNA/Ag NCs can be brighter and more photostable. Compared to quantum dots, DNA/Ag NCs are smaller, less prone to blinking on long timescales, and do not have a toxic core. The preparation of DNA/Ag NCs is simple and there is no need to remove excess precursors as these precursors are non-fluorescent. Our recent discovery of the fluorogenic and color switching properties of DNA/Ag NCs have led to the invention of new molecular probes, termed NanoCluster Beacons (NCBs), for DNA detection, with the capability to differentiate single-nucleotide polymorphisms by emission colors. NCBs are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and compatible with commercial DNA synthesizers. Many other groups have also explored and taken advantage of the environment sensitivities of DNA/Ag NCs in creating new tools for DNA/RNA detection and single-nucleotide polymorphism identification. In this review, we summarize the recent trends in the use of DNA/Ag NCs for developing DNA/RNA sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA/RNA detection; few-atom silver nanoclusters; single-nucleotide polymorphism detection; turn-on sensors DNA/RNA detection; few-atom silver nanoclusters; single-nucleotide polymorphism detection; turn-on sensors

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Obliosca, J.M.; Liu, C.; Batson, R.A.; Babin, M.C.; Werner, J.H.; Yeh, H.-C. DNA/RNA Detection Using DNA-Templated Few-Atom Silver Nanoclusters. Biosensors 2013, 3, 185-200.

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