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Small. 2007 Aug;3(8):1408-14.

Detection of unlabeled oligonucleotide targets using whispering gallery modes in single, fluorescent microspheres.

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School of Chemistry, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.


The development of an inexpensive, highly sensitive, whispering gallery mode (WGM) based biosensing system is demonstrated. The system comprises a silica microsphere functionalized with a fluorophore and a dense monolayer of single-strand oligonucleotides. The adsorption of the complementary strand causes spectral shifts in the emission spectrum of the microsphere that can be registered using a conventional optical microscope and CCD detector. The system is capable of detecting low-abundance, unlabeled-oligonucleotide targets. The spectral shifts can be used to monitor both the hybridization kinetics and the denaturation of the double-strand DNA at elevated temperatures. The hybridization appears to be completely reversible. Complementary oligonucleotide probes more than 30 bases in length are most readily detected while a complete assay takes only a few minutes.

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