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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e53935. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053935. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

A visual dual-aptamer logic gate for sensitive discrimination of prion diseases-associated isoform with reusable magnetic microparticles and fluorescence quantum dots.

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Education Ministry Key Laboratory on Luminescence and Real-Time Analysis, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.


Molecular logic gates, which have attracted increasing research interest and are crucial for the development of molecular-scale computers, simplify the results of measurements and detections, leaving the diagnosis of disease either "yes" or "no". Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders that happen in human and animals. The main problem with a diagnosis of prion diseases is how to sensitively and selectively discriminate and detection of the minute amount of PrP(Res) in biological samples. Our previous work had demonstrated that dual-aptamer strategy could achieve highly sensitive and selective discrimination and detection of prion protein (cellular prion protein, PrP(C), and the diseases associated isoform, PrP(Res)) in serum and brain. Inspired by the advantages of molecular logic gate, we further conceived a new concept for dual-aptamer logic gate that responds to two chemical input signals (PrP(C) or PrP(Res) and Gdn-HCl) and generates a change in fluorescence intensity as the output signal. It was found that PrP(Res) performs the "OR" logic operation while PrP(C) performs "XOR" logic operation when they get through the gate consisted of aptamer modified reusable magnetic microparticles (MMPs-Apt1) and quantum dots (QDs-Apt2). The dual-aptamer logic gate simplifies the discrimination results of PrP(Res), leaving the detection of PrP(Res) either "yes" or "no". The development of OR logic gate based on dual-aptamer strategy and two chemical input signals (PrP(Res) and Gdn-HCl) is an important step toward the design of prion diseases diagnosis and therapy systems.

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