Zhou, Y, Chen, Y, He, H, Liao, J, Duong, HTT, Parviz, M & Jin, D 2019, 'A homogeneous DNA assay by recovering inhibited emission of rare earth ions-doped upconversion nanoparticles', Journal of Rare Earths, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 11-18.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 Chinese Society of Rare Earths Robust and easy-to-use kits specific for a particular DNA sequence are desirable for early detection of diseases. However, the major challenge with these tests is often the background fluorescence artifacts arising from biological species due to employing UV and visible range of light. Here, we have reported a near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence 'turn-on' kit based on rare earth ions doped nanoparticles, upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), which forms a fluorescence-quencher pair, brought together by a hairpin structure through the formation of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), with quenched upconversion luminescence. In the presence of analytes, the molecular beacon opens to push AuNPs away from UCNPs, with a distance longer than the efficient quenching distance, so that the inhibited upconversion emission will be restored. We demonstrated that this assay provides a homogeneous, facile, simple and highly selective HIV-1 based DNA detection system with restore efficiency up to 85%, and the detection limit of 5 nm.
Duong, HTT, Chen, Y, Tawfik, SA, Wen, S, Parviz, M, Shimoni, O & Ab, DJ 2018, 'Systematic investigation of functional ligands for colloidal stable upconversion nanoparticles†', RSC Advances, vol. 8, no. 9, pp. 4842-4849.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2018. Despite intense efforts on surface functionalization to generate hydrophilic upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), long-term colloidal stability in physiological buffers remains a major concern. Here we quantitatively investigate the competitive adsorption of phosphate, carboxylic acid and sulphonic acid onto the surface of UCNPs and study their binding strength to identify the best conjugation strategy. To achieve this, we designed and synthesized three di-block copolymers composed of poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate and a polymer block bearing phosphate, carboxylic or sulphonic acid anchoring groups prepared by an advanced polymerization technique, Reversible Addition Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT). Analytical tools provide the evidence that phosphate ligands completely replaced all the oleic acid capping molecules on the surface of the UCNPs compared with incomplete ligand exchange by carboxylic and sulphonic acid groups. Meanwhile, simulated quantitative adsorption energy measurements confirmed that among the three functional groups, the calculated adsorption strength for phosphate anchoring ligands is higher which is in good agreement with experimental results regarding the best colloidal stability, especially in phosphate buffer solution. This finding suggests that polymers with multiple anchoring negatively charged phosphate moieties provide excellent colloidal stability for lanthanide ion-doped luminescent nanoparticles for various potential applications.
He, H, Howard, CB, Chen, Y, Wen, S, Lin, G, Zhou, J, Thurecht, KJ & Jin, D 2018, 'Bispecific Antibody-Functionalized Upconversion Nanoprobe.', Analytical chemistry, vol. 90, no. 5, pp. 3024-3029.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) are new optical probes for biological applications. For specific biomolecular recognition to be realized for diagnosis and imaging, the key lies in developing a stable and easy-to-use bioconjugation method for antibody modification. Current methods are not yet satisfactory regarding conjugation time, stability, and binding efficiency. Here, we report a facile and high-yield approach based on a bispecific antibody (BsAb) free of chemical reaction steps. One end of the BsAb is designed to recognize methoxy polyethylene glycol-coated UCNPs, and the other end of the BsAb is designed to recognize the cancer antigen biomarker. Through simple vortexing, BsAb-UCNP nanoprobes form within 30 min and show higher (up to 54%) association to the target than that of the traditional UCNP nanoprobes in the ELISA-like assay. We further demonstrate its successful binding to the cancer cells with high efficiency and specificity for background-free fluorescence imaging under near-infrared excitation. This method suggests a general approach broadly suitable for functionalizing a range of nanoparticles to specifically target biomolecules.
Chen, Y, Duong, HTT, Wen, S, Mi, C, Zhou, Y, Shimoni, O, Valenzuela, SM & Jin, D 2018, 'Exonuclease III-Assisted Upconversion Resonance Energy Transfer in a Wash-Free Suspension DNA Assay.', Analytical Chemistry, vol. 90, no. 1, pp. 663-668.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Sensitivity is the key in optical detection of low-abundant analytes, such as circulating RNA or DNA. The enzyme Exonuclease III (Exo III) is a useful tool in this regard; its ability to recycle target DNA molecules results in markedly improved detection sensitivity. Lower limits of detection may be further achieved if the detection background of autofluorescence can be removed. Here we report an ultrasensitive and specific method to quantify trace amounts of DNA analytes in a wash-free suspension assay. In the presence of target DNA, the Exo III recycles the target DNA by selectively digesting the dye-tagged sequence-matched probe DNA strand only, so that the amount of free dye removed from the probe DNA is proportional to the number of target DNAs. Remaining intact probe DNAs are then bound onto upconversion nanoparticles (energy donor), which allows for upconversion luminescence resonance energy transfer (LRET) that can be used to quantify the difference between the free dye and tagged dye (energy acceptor). This scheme simply avoids both autofluorescence under infrared excitation and many tedious washing steps, as the free dye molecules are physically located away from the nanoparticle surface, and as such they remain "dark" in suspension. Compared to alternative approaches requiring enzyme-assisted amplification on the nanoparticle surface, introduction of probe DNAs onto nanoparticles only after DNA hybridization and signal amplification steps effectively avoids steric hindrance. Via this approach, we have achieved a detection limit of 15 pM in LRET assays of human immunodeficiency viral DNA.
Lu, J, Chen, Y, Liu, D, Ren, W, Lu, Y, Shi, Y, Piper, JA, Paulsen, IT & Jin, D 2015, 'One-step Protein Conjugation to Upconversion Nanoparticles', Analytical Chemistry, vol. 87, no. 20, pp. 10406-10413.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The emerging upconversion nanoparticles offer a fascinating library of ultrasensitive luminescent probes for a range of biotechnology applications from biomarker discovery to single molecule tracking, early disease diagnosis, deep tissue imaging, and drug delivery and therapies. The effective bioconjugation of inorganic nanoparticles to the molecule-specific proteins, free of agglomeration, nonspecific binding, or biomolecule deactivation, is crucial for molecular recognition of target molecules or cells. The current available protocols require multiple steps which can lead to low probe stability, specificity, and reproducibility. Here we report a simple and rapid protein bioconjugation method based on a one-step ligand exchange using the DNAs as the linker. Our method benefits from the robust DNA–protein conjugates as well as from multiple ions binding capability. Protein can be preconjugated via an amino group at the 3′ end of a synthetic DNA molecule, so that the 5′ end phosphoric acid group and multiple phosphate oxygen atoms in the phosphodiester bonds are exposed to replace the oleic acid ligands on the surface of upconversion nanoparticles due to their stronger chelating capability to lanthanides. We demonstrated that our method can efficiently pull out the upconversion nanoparticles from organic solvent into an aqueous phase. The upconversion nanoparticles then become hydrophilic, stable, and specific biomolecules recognition. This allows us to successfully functionalize the upconversion nanoparticles with horseradish peroxidise (HRP) for catalytic colorimetric assay and for streptavidin (SA)–biotin immunoassays.