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Biosens Bioelectron. 2013 Apr 15;42:119-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2012.10.072. Epub 2012 Oct 30.

Aptamer-based colorimetric detection of platelet-derived growth factor using unmodified gold nanoparticles.

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Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.


We developed a simple method for the detection of platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) based on base stacking effect coupled with an unmodified gold nanoparticle (AuNP) indicator. In the absence of a target, an aptamer probe and a capture probe stably co-exist in a solution, as it is difficult to sustain an interaction between both these probes due to the short 8bp duplex. However, when a target protein binds to the aptamer probe, the strong base stacking effect can lead to a favorable and stable interaction between the aptamer and capture probes. Hence, the capture probe dissociates from the AuNP surfaces, inducing AuNP aggregation. Compared with other AuNP-based aptasensors for PDGFs, using this base stacking effect can overcome a structured-aptamer method's limitation of requiring thiolated-aptamer-modified AuNPs. Under optimal detection conditions, this label-free colorimetric sensor could detect PDGFs down to 6nM with high selectivity in the presence of other interferring proteins. This simple detection approach provides viable methods for a structured-aptamer sensing protocol.

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