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Stable dye-labelled oligonucleotide-nanoparticle conjugates for nucleic acid detection

Barrett, Lee and Dougan, Jennifer A. and Faulds, Karen and Graham, Duncan (2011) Stable dye-labelled oligonucleotide-nanoparticle conjugates for nucleic acid detection. Nanoscale, 3 (8). pp. 3221-3227. ISSN 2040-3364

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Metallic nanoparticles functionalized with oligonucleotides are used for a number of nucleic acid detection strategies. However, oligonucleotide-nanoparticle conjugates suffer from a lack of stability when exposed to certain conditions associated with DNA detection assays. In this study, we report the synthesis of thiol and thioctic acid-modified oligonucleotide gold nanoparticle (OGNs) conjugates functionalized with a dye label and varying spacer groups. The thioctic acid-modified conjugates exhibit increased stability when treated with dithiothreitol (DTT) compared to the more commonly used thiol modification. When the dye labelled oligonucleotide nanoparticle conjugates are exposed to the same conditions there is a pronounced increase in the stability for both thioctic acid and thiol modified sequences. These results open up the possibility of simply using a dye label to enhance the stability of oligonucleotide-nanoparticle conjugates in DNA detection assays where the enhanced stability of the conjugate system can be advantageous in more complex biological environments.