Optical Nanosensor Architecture for Cell-Signaling Molecules Using DNA Aptamer-Coated Carbon Nanotubes
Date of this Version5-2011
ACS Nano, 2011, 5 (5), pp 4236–4244
We report a novel optical biosensor platform using near-infrared fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) functionalized with target-recognizing aptamer DNA for noninvasively detecting cell-signaling molecules In real time. Photoluminescence (PL) emission of aptamer-coated SWNTs is modulated upon selectively binding to target molecules, which is exploited to detect insulin using an insulin-binding aptamer (IBA) as a molecular recognition element. We find that nanotube PL quenches upon insulin recognition via a photoinduced charge transfer mechanism with a quenching rate of k(q) = 5.85 x 10(14) M(-1) s(-1) a diffusion reaction rate of k(r) = 0.129 s(-1). Circular dichroism spectra reveal for the first time that IBA strands retain a four-stranded, parallel guanine quadruplex conformation on the nanotubes, ensuring target selectivity. We demonstrate that these IBA-functionalized SWNT sensors incorporated in a collagen extracellular matrix (ECM) can be regenerated by removing bound analytes through enzymatic proteolysis. As proof-of-concept, we show that the SWNT sensors embedded in the ECM promptly detect insulin secreted by cultured pancreatic INS-1 cells stimulated by glucose influx and report a gradient contour of insulin secretion profile. This novel design enables new types of label-free assays and noninvasive, in situ, real-time detection schemes for cell-signaling molecules.
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology