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Formulation of DNA chimera templates: Effects on emission behavior of silver nanoclusters and sensing.

ABSTRACT

Single strand DNA (ssDNA) chimeras consisting of a silver nanoclusters-nucleating sequence (NC) and an aptamer are widely employed to synthesize functional silver nanoclusters (AgNCs) for sensing purpose. Despite its simplicity, this chimeric-templated AgNCs often leads to undesirable turn-off effect, which may suffer from false positive signals caused by interference. In our effort to elucidate how the relative position of NC and aptamer affects the fluorescence behavior and sensing performance, we systematically formulated these NC and aptamer regions at different position in a DNA chimera. Using adenosine aptamer as a model, we tested the adenosine-induced optical response of each design. We also investigated the effect of linker region connecting NC and aptamer, as well as different NC sequence on the sensing performance. We concluded that locating NC sequence at 5'-end exhibited the best response, with immediate fluorescence enhancement observed over a wide linear range (1-2500 μM). Our experimental findings help to explain the emission behavior and sensing performance of chimeric conjugates of AgNCs, providing an important means to formulate a better aptasensor.