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ISSN: 2153-0777
Journal of Bioengineering and Bioelectronics

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Developing New Fluorescent Sensing Platforms for Nucleic Acid Detection

Xuping Sun*
Chemistry Department and Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials Research Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
Corresponding Author : Xuping Sun
State Key Lab of Electroanalytical Chemistry
Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Changchun, 130022 Jilin, China
Tel: (+86)-431-85262065
E-mail: [email protected]
Received February 19, 2012; Accepted February 22, 2012; Published February 25, 2012
Citation: Sun X (2012) Developing New Fluorescent Sensing Platforms for Nucleic Acid Detection. J Biochip Tissue chip 2:e107. doi:10.4172/2153-0777.1000e107
Copyright: © 2012 Sun X. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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During the past years, various methods for nucleic acid detection have been successfully developed for gene expression profiling, clinical disease diagnostics and treatment, fast detection of biological warfare agents and forensic applications etc. Detecting genetic mutations at the molecular level opens up the possibility of performing reliable disease diagnostics in clinical practice even before any symptom of a disease appears. Although polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a technique for DNA amplification and sequencing has found extensive application in modern biological and medical sciences, it suffers from high cost, risk of contamination, and false-negative results. Thus, we need to develop new methods capable of fast, cost-effective, and sensitive detection of specific nucleic acid sequences.
Recently, researchers have demonstrated homogeneous fluorescence assays based on FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) or quenching mechanism for nucleic acid detection [1]. Because the nanostructure used serves as a dye quencher capable of quenching dyes of different emission frequencies, the selection issue of a fluorophorequencher pair is eliminated from this system. In 2001, Dubertret et al. pioneered the use of gold nanoparticle as a quencher for single-mismatch detection of oligonucleotides [2]. However, the small size of gold nanoparticle makes it hard for simultaneous adsorption of multiple DNA probes labeled with different dyes on the same particle surface and hence multiplexing nucleic acid detection seems difficult to achieve. Several years later, new fluorescent sensing platforms including singlewalled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and graphene oxide (GO) have been developed, and rapid, sensitive and multiplexing fluorescent DNA analysis was achieved on graphene [3]. The SWCNT or GO system still has some disadvantages: 1) both SWCNT and graphite powder used for producing GO are usually purchased from some sources; 2) an organic solvent like N,N-dimethylformamide is used to disperse SWCNT by a period of several hours sonication; 3) the GO preparation by the well-known Hummer’s method is time-consuming and labor-intensive. During the past two years, our group has put considerable effort to developing new fluorescent sensing platforms overcoming all the abovementioned shortcomings with great success, including carbon nanoparticles, nano-C60, poly(p-phenylenediamine) nanobelts, poly(m-phenylenediamine) nanorods, [email protected](m-phenylenediamine) core−shell nanoparticles, polyaniline nanofibres, poly(o-phenylenediamine) colloids, coordination polymers nanoplates etc.
With these sensing platforms, we have successfully realized fast, sensitive, selective, multiplexing fluorescent nucleic acid detection by simple “mixing and reading“ strategy without the involvement of washing or complex sample preparation steps. Although some platforms are capable of distinguishing complementary and mismatched sequences with good reproducibility in blood serum system, further study improvement should be done before their clinic genetic diagnosis application.
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