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Anal Chim Acta. 2013 Nov 25;803:113-22. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.07.059. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Analytical performance of molecular beacons on surface immobilized gold nanoparticles of varying size and density.

Author information

1
Chemical Sensors Group, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road North, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6, Canada.

Abstract

The high quenching efficiency of metal nanoparticles has facilitated its use as quenchers in molecular beacons. To optimize this system, a good understanding of the many factors that influence molecular beacon performance is required. In this study, molecular beacon performance was evaluated as a function of gold nanoparticle size and its immobilization characteristics. Gold nanoparticles of 4 nm, 15 nm and 87 nm diameter, were immobilized onto glass slides. Each size regime offered distinctive optical properties for fluorescence quenching of molecular dyes that were conjugated to oligonucleotides that were immobilized to the gold nanoparticles. Rigid double stranded DNA was used as a model to place fluorophores at different distances from the gold nanoparticles. The effect of particle size and also the immobilization density of nanoparticles was evaluated. The 4 nm and 87 nm gold nanoparticles offered the highest sensitivity in terms of the change in fluorescence intensity as a function of distance (3-fold improvement for Cy5). The optical properties of the molecular fluorophore was of significance, with Cy5 offering higher contrast ratios than Cy3 due to the red-shifted emission spectrum relative to the plasmon peak. A high density of gold nanoparticles reduced contrast ratios, indicating preference for a monolayer of immobilized nanoparticles when considering analytical performance. Molecular beacon probes were then used in place of the double stranded oligonucleotides. There was a strong dependence of molecular beacon performance on the length of a linker used for attachment to the nanoparticle surface. The optimal optical performance was obtained with 4 nm gold nanoparticles that were immobilized as monolayers of low density (5.7×10(11)particles cm(-2)) on glass surfaces. These nanoparticle surfaces offered a 2-fold improvement in analytical performance of the molecular beacons when compared to other nanoparticle sizes investigated. The principles developed in this study would assist in the design of solid phase molecular beacons using gold nanoparticles.

KEYWORDS:

Fluorescence quenching; Gold nanoparticles; Molecular beacons; Optimization; Surface immobilization

PMID:
24216204
DOI:
10.1016/j.aca.2013.07.059
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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