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DNA hairpins as temperature switches, thermometers and ionic detectors.

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Temperature is of major importance in most branches of science and technology as well as in everyday life, and with the miniaturization of electronic devices and the increasing ability to make research into small-scale systems, a specific need for very small thermostats and thermometers has been created. Here we describe how DNA molecules can be used as nanoscale sensors to meet these requirements. We illustrate how the hybridization kinetics between bases in DNA molecules combined with conformational changes of the DNA backbone can be exploited in the construction of simple but versatile temperature switches and thermometers, which can be built into electronic systems. DNA based sensors are at the same time applicable as ion detectors to monitor the chemical environment of a specific system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5937-5944
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2013

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