The influence of the nucleic acid secondary structure on the fast (1 h) formation of bright red emissive silver nanoclusters (AgNCs) in a DNA sequence (DNA-12nt-RED-160), designed for the detection of a microRNA sequence (RNA-miR160), was investigated. The findings show that especially the propensity for mismatch self-dimer formation of the DNA probes can be a good indicator for the creation and stabilization of red emissive AgNCs. Also, the role of the thermal stability of the secondary DNA structures (mismatch self-dimer and hairpin monomers) and the observed AgNC red emission intensity were investigated. These findings can form the basis for a rationale to design new red emissive AgNC-based probes. As an example, a bright red emissive AgNC-based DNA probe was designed for RNA-miR172 detection. The latter opens the possibility to create a variety of AgNC-based DNA probes for the specific detection of plant and animal miRNAs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)