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A versatile fluorometric aptasensing scheme based on the use of a hybrid material composed of polypyrrole nanoparticles and DNA-silver nanoclusters: application to the determination of adenosine, thrombin, or interferon-gamma

  • Wang, Jing1
  • Li, Bingzhi1, 2
  • Lu, Qiaoyun1
  • Li, Xiaoyun1
  • Weng, Chenyuan1
  • Yan, Xiaoqiang1
  • Hong, Junli1
  • Zhou, Xuemin1
  • 1 Nanjing Medical, University, School of Pharmacy, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 211166, China , Nanjing (China)
  • 2 Wuxi People’s Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Drug Clinical Trial Institution, Wuxi, 214023, China , Wuxi (China)
Published Article
Microchimica Acta
Publication Date
May 16, 2019
DOI: 10.1007/s00604-019-3459-9
Springer Nature


The authors describe a versatile aptasensing scheme based on the use of polypyrrole nanoparticles (PPyNPs) and DNA-silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) for multiple target detection. The DNA-AgNCs consist of two functional domains, viz. (a) a nucleation domain for attaching the metal core of the nanoclusters, and (b) a recognition domain which consists of a single-stranded aptamer. In the absence of analytes, the single-strand recognition domain will be absorbed onto the surface of the PPyNPs through π stacking and hydrophobic interactions. As a result, the red fluorescence of the DNA-AgNCs (with excitation/emission peaks at 535/625 nm) is quenched by the PPyNPs. On introducing the analytes, the DNA-AgNCs will bind them. This leads to the desorption of DNA-AgNCs and the recovery of the red fluorescence. Based on the above strategy, a versatile, sensitive and selective aptasensor was established for detection of adenosine, thrombin and interferon-gamma. The method was applied to the detection of the above targets in (spiked) serum samples and gave satisfactory results, with detection limit of 0.58 nM for IFN-γ, 0.39 nM for adenosine, and 2.2 nM for thrombin. The use of PPyNPs results in uniquely low non-specific absorption and in improved analytical results in case of real-sample analysis when compared to previously reported methods. Graphical abstractSchematic illustration of DNA-silver nanoclusters and polypyrrole nanoparticles in an aptasensor for detection of multiple targets.

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