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New Fluorescent Nanoparticles for Ultrasensitive Detection of Nucleic Acids by Optical Methods

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  • Mads Westergaard Mulberg, Technical University of Denmark, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Maria Taskova, Technical University of Denmark, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Rasmus P. Thomsen
  • ,
  • Anders H. Okholm
  • ,
  • Jorgen Kjems
  • Kira Astakhova, Technical University of Denmark, University of Southern Denmark

For decades the detection of nucleic acids and their interactions at low abundances has been a challenging task that has thus far been solved by enzymatic target amplification. In this work we aimed at developing efficient tools for amplification-free nucleic acid detection, which resulted in the synthesis of new fluorescent nanoparticles. Here, the fluorescent nanoparticles were made by simple and inexpensive radical emulsion polymerization of butyl acrylate in the presence of fluorescent dyes and additional functionalization reagents. This provided ultra-bright macrofluorophores of 9-84nm mean diameter, modified with additional alkyne and amino groups for bioconjugation. By using click and NHS chemistries, the new nanoparticles were attached to target-specific DNA probes that were used in fluorimetry and fluorescence microscopy. Overall, these fluorescent nanoparticles and their oligonucleotide derivatives have higher photostability, brighter fluorescence and hence dramatically lower limits of target detection than the individual organic dyes. These properties make them useful in approaches directed towards ultrasensitive detection of nucleic acids, in particular for imaging and in vitro diagnostics of DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1599-1603
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2017

    Research areas

  • butyl acrylate, fluorescent probes, nanoparticles, nucleic acids, polymerization, DROPLET DIGITAL PCR, EMULSION POLYMERIZATION, BUTYL ACRYLATE, CANCER, PROBES, PARTICLES, THERAPY, GENES, TUMOR

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