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J Am Chem Soc. 2018 Feb 21;140(7):2409-2412. doi: 10.1021/jacs.7b12382. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Enhanced Electron Transfer Mediated by Conjugated Polyelectrolyte and Its Application to Washing-Free DNA Detection.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemistry Institute for Functional Materials, Pusan National University , Busan 46241, Korea.
Department of Chemistry, Korea University , Seoul 02841, Korea.
Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) , Daejeon 34141, Korea.
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Pusan National University , Busan 46241, Korea.


Direct electron transfer between a redox label and an electrode requires a short working distance (<1-2 nm), and in general an affinity biosensor based on direct electron transfer requires a finely smoothed Au electrode to support efficient target binding. Here we report that direct electron transfer over a longer working distance is possible between (i) an anionic π-conjugated polyelectrolyte (CPE) label having many redox-active sites and (ii) a readily prepared, thin polymeric monolayer-modified indium-tin oxide electrode. In addition, the long CPE label (∼18 nm for 10 kDa) can approach the electrode within the working distance after sandwich-type target-specific binding, and fast CPE-mediated oxidation of ammonia borane along the entire CPE backbone affords high signal amplification.

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