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Analyst. 2013 Aug 21;138(16):4558-64. doi: 10.1039/c3an00396e. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

A novel electrochemical aptasensor for thrombin detection based on the hybridization chain reaction with hemin/G-quadruplex DNAzyme-signal amplification.

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Education Ministry Key Laboratory on Luminescence and Real-Time Analysis, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, People's Republic of China.


In this work, a novel signal amplification electrochemical aptasensor for the sensitive and selective detection of thrombin was successfully fabricated. The amplification method was based on the hybridization chain reaction (HCR) and a pseudobienzyme electrocatalytic system. HCR-based double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) polymers not only constructed an effective carrier for anchoring larger amounts of electron mediator methylene blue (MB) into the DNA duplexes to produce a strong differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) signal, but also resulted in the formation of hemin/G-quadruplex DNAzymes nanowires by intercalating hemin into two induced single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). With the addition of NADH into the electrolytic cell, the hemin/G-quadruplex acting as an NADH oxidase and HRP-mimicking DNAzyme for the pseudobienzyme amplifying system could in situ biocatalyze the formation of H₂O₂ with local concentrations and low transfer loss resulting in dramatic signal enhancements. The binding event can be detected by a decrease in the integrated charge of MB which electrostatically absorbed onto dsDNA polymers. In the presence of thrombin, the dsDNA polymers associated with MB and hemin/G-quadruplex structures were removed from the electrode surface, leading to a significant decrease of redox current. DPV signals of MB provided quantitative measures of the concentrations of thrombin, with a linear calibration range of 0.01-50 nM and a detection limit of 2 pM. Moreover, the resulting aptasensor also exhibited good specificity, acceptable reproducibility and stability, indicating that the present strategy was promising for broad potential application in clinic assay and various protein analyses.

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