Aug 13, 2013
Sensing team examines DNA thymine-dependent formation of fluorescent copper nanoparticles
In their latest study, researchers from the Zhejiang Normal University in China have examined the thymine-dependent growth of fluorescent copper nanoparticles (Cu NPs) on DNA templates. Their findings could pave the way for the development of new sensors – for example, to detect mercury contamination in samples of drinking water.
By examining the DNA structures with various base compositions and contexts at the double-stranded (ds-DNA) and single-stranded (ss-DNA) state, the scientists found that the emission behaviour of the DNA-hosted Cu NPs is particularly dependent on the ss-DNA sequences.
In the study, the team identified that the most efficient host for producing fluorescent Cu NPs is the thymine-rich sequence (see image). Also, echoing previous work, the emission properties of DNA-hosted Cu NPs can be modulated by the sequence length.
The differences in binding nucleophilicity of the DNA heterocyclic nitrogen and exocyclic keto groups to the Cu2+/Cu+ species are believed to be responsible for the sequence-dependent formation of fluorescent Cu NPs.
Full details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology 24 345502
About the author
The study was conducted by the research team of Prof. Yong Shao at the institute of Physical chemistry, Zhejiang Normal University, China. The research interests of the team are focused on sensor design based on nucleic acids and functional material synthesis and applications.