Ag nanoclusters could efficiently quench the photoresponse of CdS quantum dots for novel energy transfer-based photoelectrochemical bioanalysis

Research paper by Ling Zhang, Yue Sun, Yan-Yu Liang, Jian-Ping He, Wei-Wei Zhao, Jing-Juan Xu, Hong-Yuan Chen

Indexed on: 14 Jun '16Published on: 08 Jun '16Published in: Biosensors and Bioelectronics


Herein the influence of ultrasmall Ag nanoclusters (Ag NCs) against CdS quantum dots (QDs) in a photoelectrochemical (PEC) nanosystem was exploited for the first time, based on which a novel PEC bioanalysis was successfully developed via the efficient quenching effect of Ag NCs against the CdS QDs. In a model system, DNA assay was achieved by using molecular beacon (MB) probes anchored on a CdS QDs modified electrode, and the MB probes contain two segments that can hybridize with both target DNA sequence and the label of DNA encapsulated Ag NCs. After the MB probe was unfolded by the target DNA sequence, the labels of oligonucleotide encapsulated Ag NCs would be brought in close proximity to the CdS QDs electrode surface, and efficient photocurrent quenching of QDs could be resulted from an energy transfer process that originated from NCs. Thus, by monitoring the attenuation in the photocurrent signal, an elegant and sensitive PEC DNA bioanalysis could be accomplished. The developed biosensor displayed a linear range from 1.0 pM to 10 nM and the detection limit was experimentally found to be of 0.3 pM. This work presents a feasible signalling principle that could act as a common basis for general PEC bioanalysis development.

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