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Anal Biochem. 2012 Oct 15;429(2):99-102. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2012.07.009. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Simple colorimetric DNA detection based on hairpin assembly reaction and target-catalytic circuits for signal amplification.

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Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao 266071, People's Republic of China.


A simple strategy of colorimetric DNA detection is presented based on a hairpin assembly reaction and target-catalytic DNA circuits to achieve enzyme-free signal amplification. The method employed two hairpin species (H1 and H2), which were stable and unable to hybridize in the absence of target. In the presence of target, the target hybridized with hairpin H1 and the opened hairpin H1 hybridized with hairpin H2, allowing the target to be displaced. H1 and H2 were respectively attached to gold nanoparticles, allowing the duplex formed from H1 and H2 to be visualized with the naked eye. The displaced target again triggered the next round of strand exchange reaction to achieve signal amplification. The method may have a wide range of sensor applications because it is enzyme-free and simple to perform.

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