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.
Ren, W, Zhou, Y, Lin, G, Wen, S, He, H, Liu, D & Jin, D 2018, 'DNA-mediated Anisotropic Silica Coating of Upconversion Nanoparticles', Chemical Communications, vol. 54, no. 52.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
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.