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Anal Chim Acta. 2012 Mar 16;719:76-81. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2012.01.011. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Aptamer sensor for cocaine using minor groove binder based energy transfer.

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  • 1School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.


We report on an optical aptamer sensor for cocaine detection. The cocaine sensitive fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled aptamer underwent a conformational change from a partial single-stranded DNA with a short hairpin to a double-stranded T-junction in the presence of the target. The DNA minor groove binder Hoechst 33342 selectively bound to the double-stranded T-junction, bringing the dye within the Förster radius of FITC, and therefore initiating minor groove binder based energy transfer (MBET), and reporting on the presence of cocaine. The sensor showed a detection limit of 0.2 μM. The sensor was also implemented on a carboxy-functionalized polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface by covalently immobilizing DNA aptamers. The ability of surface-bound cocaine detection is crucial for the development of microfluidic sensors.

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