Carboxylic Carbon Quantum Dots as a Fluorescent Sensing Platform for DNA Detection

Adeline Huiling Loo, Zdenek Sofer, Daniel Bouša, Pavel Ulbrich, Alessandra Bonanni, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Citations (Scopus)


The demand for simple, sensitive, affordable, and selective DNA biosensors is ubiquitous, due to the important role that DNA detection performs in the areas of disease diagnostics, environment monitoring, and food safety. A novel application of carboxylic carbon quantum dots (cCQD) is highlighted in this study. Herein, cCQD function as a nanoquencher in the detection of nucleic acid based on a homogeneous fluorescent assay. To that purpose, the performance of two types of cCQD, namely, citric acid QD and malic acid QD, is evaluated. The principle behind the sensing of nucleic acid lies in the different propensity of single-stranded DNA and double-stranded DNA to adsorb onto the surface of cCQD. For both types of cCQD, a superior range of detection of at least 3 orders of magnitude is achieved, and the potential to distinguish single-base mismatch is also exhibited. These findings are anticipated to provide valuable insights on the employment of cCQD for the fabrication of future DNA biosensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1951-1957
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 27

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.P. acknowledges the Tier 2 grant (MOE2013-T2-1-056; ARC 35/13) from the Ministry of Education, Singapore. Z.S. and D.B. were supported by Specific University Research (MSMT No. 20/2015) and the Czech Science Foundation (GACR No. 15-09001S).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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