Effect of salts, solvents and buffer on miRNA detection using DNA silver nanocluster (DNA/AgNCs) probes

Pratik Shah, Seok Keun Cho, Peter Waaben Thulstrup, Yong Joo Bhang, Jong Cheol Ahn, Suk Won Choi, Andreas Rørvig-Lund, Seong Wook Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs (size ∼21 nt to ∼25 nt) which regulate a variety of important cellular events in plants, animals and single cell eukaryotes. Especially because of their use in diagnostics of human diseases, efforts have been directed towards the invention of a rapid, simple and sequence selective detection method for miRNAs. Recently, we reported an innovative method for the determination of miRNA levels using the red fluorescent properties of DNA/silver nanoclusters (DNA/AgNCs). Our method is based on monitoring the emission drop of a DNA/AgNCs probe in the presence of its specific target miRNA. Accordingly, the accuracy and efficiency of the method relies on the sensitivity of hybridization between the probe and target. To gain specific and robust hybridization between probe and target, we investigated a range of diverse salts, organic solvents, and buffer to optimize target sensing conditions. Under the newly adjusted conditions, the target sensitivity and the formation of emissive DNA/AgNCs probes were significantly improved. Also, fortification of the Tris-acetate buffer with inorganic salts or organic solvents improved the sensitivity of the DNA/AgNC probes. On the basis of these optimizations, the versatility of the DNA/AgNCs-based miRNA detection method can be expanded.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045101
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 31

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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