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Anal Biochem. 2002 Oct 1;309(1):109-116.

Base pair mismatch recognition using plasmon resonant particle labels.

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  • 1Seashell Technology, LLC 3252 Holiday Court Suite 227, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


We demonstrate the use of silver plasmon resonant particles (PRPs), as reporter labels, in a microarray-based DNA hybridization assay in which we screen for a known polymorphic site in the breast cancer gene BRCA1. PRPs (40-100 nm in diameter) image as diffraction-limited points of colored light in a standard microscope equipped with dark-field illumination, and can be individually identified and discriminated against background scatter. Rather than overall intensity, the number of PRPs counted in a CCD image by a software algorithm serves as the signal in these assays. In a typical PRP hybridization assay, we achieve a detection sensitivity that is approximately 60 x greater than that achieved by using fluorescent labels. We conclude that single particle counting is robust, generally applicable to a wide variety of assay platforms, and can be integrated into low-cost and quantitative detection systems for single nucleotide polymorphism analysis.

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