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Anal Chem. 2008 Apr 15;80(8):2888-94. doi: 10.1021/ac701995g. Epub 2008 Mar 14.

Electrogenerated chemiluminescence DNA biosensor based on hairpin DNA probe labeled with ruthenium complex.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Applied Surface and Colloid Chemistry, Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China.


A highly selective electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) biosensor for the detection of target single-strand DNA (ss-DNA) was developed using hairpin DNA as the recognition element and ruthenium complex as the signal-producing compound. The ECL-based DNA biosensor was fabricated by self-assembling the ECL probe of thiolated hairpin DNA tagged with ruthenium complex on the surface of a gold electrode. In the absence of target ss-DNA, the ECL probe immobilized on the surface of the electrode was in the folded configuration in which its termini were held in close proximity to the electrode, and thus a strong ECL signal could be generated. In the presence of target ss-DNA, a stem-loop of the ECL probe on the electrode was converted into a linear double-helix configuration due to hybridization, resulting in the tag moving away from the electrode surface, which in turn decreased the ECL signal. The ECL intensity of the DNA biosensor generated a "switch off" mode, which decreased with an increase of the concentration of target DNA, and a detection limit of 9 x 10(-11) M complementary target ss-DNA was achieved. Single mismatched target ss-DNA was effectively discriminated from complementary target ss-DNA. The effect of different loop lengths of the hairpin DNA on the selectivity of the ECL DNA biosensor has been investigated. This work demonstrated that the sensitivity and specificity of an ECL DNA biosensor could be greatly improved using a hairpin DNA species which has an appropriate stem and loop length as the recognition element.

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