Catalytic DNA, aptamers, and gold nanoparticles
Department of Chemistry
University of Waterloo
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Online via Microsoft Teams
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ABSTRACT: While DNA is known for its function as a genetic material, since the early 1990s, DNA was found to also possess chemical functions such as ligand binding and catalysis, and such functional DNA molecules are called aptamersand catalytic DNA (DNAzymes), respectively. Catalytic DNA and aptamershave been extensively used to develop biosensors. Interfacing DNA with gold nanoparticles has been a very popular method for the design of both fluorescent and colorimetric biosensors. We found that the adsorption of DNA on gold nanoparticles to be extremely strong, such as the adsorbed DNA, loses its ability to hybridize. In addition, the adsorption of target molecules on gold nanoparticles needs to be considered. Finally, we found that some reported aptamersactually cannot bind their claimed targets, and they can be attributed to the neglected target/gold surface interactions during the binding assays.