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Anal Chem. 2006 May 15;78(10):3326-34.

Hybridization behavior of mixed DNA/alkylthiol monolayers on gold: characterization by surface plasmon resonance and 32P radiometric assay.

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Department of Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1872, USA.


Nucleic acid assay from a complex biological milieu is attractive but currently difficult and far from routine. In this study, DNA hybridization from serum dilutions into mixed DNA/mercaptoundecanol (MCU) adlayers on gold was monitored by surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Immobilized DNA probe and hybridized target densities on these surfaces were quantified using 32P-radiometric assays as a function of MCU diluent exposure. SPR surface capture results correlated with radiometric analysis for hybridization performance, demonstrating a maximum DNA hybridization on DNA/MCU mixed adlayers. The maximum target surface capture produced by MCU addition to the DNA probe layer correlates with structural and conformational data on identical mixed DNA/MCU adlayers on gold derived from XPS, NEXAFS, and fluorescence intensity measurements reported in a related study (Lee, C.-Y.; Gong, P.; Harbers, G. M.; Grainger, D. W.; Castner, D. G.; Gamble, L. J. Anal. Chem. 2006, 78, 3316-3325.). MCU addition into the DNA adlayer on gold also improved surface resistance to both nonspecific DNA and serum protein adsorption. Target DNA hybridization from serum dilutions was monitored with SPR on the optimally mixed DNA/MCU adlayers. Both hybridization kinetics and efficiency were strongly affected by nonspecific protein adsorption from a complex milieu even at a minimal serum concentration (e.g., 1%). No target hybridization was detected in SPR assays from serum concentrations above 30%, indicating nonspecific protein adsorption interference of DNA capture and hybridization from complex milieu. Removal of nonsignal proteins from nucleic acid targets prior to assay represents a significant issue for direct sample-to-assay nucleic acid diagnostics from food, blood, tissue, PCR mixtures, and many other biologically complex sample formats.

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