Label-Free Fluorescent Sensors Based on Functional Nucleic Acids

Part of the Reviews in Fluorescence book series (RFLU, volume 2010)


Functional nucleic acids (FNAs), evolved in vitro from nucleic acid libraries by combinatory processes, are a general platform to design sensors for a variety of targets and analytes of interest. Among the developments in this area, label-free fluorescent sensors based on FNAs received much attention recently because they do not require any modifications on the FNAs and can most preserve the activities of the FNAs. In addition, the use of FNAs consist of only natural nucleotides and no modifications for sensor designs may facilitate the encoding of the sensors in living system for imaging and sensing applications. In this chapter, several unique sensing platforms for label-free fluorescent FNA sensors have been reviewed, including label-free fluorescent sensors based on the intercalation of fluorescent dyes in dsDNA, on “turning-on” of the non-fluorescent dyes that are aptamer-dependent, on the binding of a fluorophore to an abasic or vacant site, or on a conjugated polymer whose fluorescence depends on the FNA conformations.


Malachite Green Fluorescence Enhancement Fluorescent Sensor Sensor Design Abasic Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We wish to thank the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FG02-08ER64568), the National Institutes of Health (ES16865) and the National Science Foundation (CTS-0120978) for financial support.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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