Journal: Advanced Materials
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Directly detecting DNA with graphdiyne
© Ralf Hiemisch/Getty
A fluorescence detector made from graphdiyne – a relative of graphene – is paving the way to prompt, precise DNA detection.
Fluorescence sensors detect DNA using molecular ‘probes’ labelled with different coloured dyes that glow, or fluoresce when they interact with a target DNA. However, rapid detection of specific DNA sequences without background noise is still tricky.
A team including researchers from Nanjing Tech University created a fluorescence sensor with just a few sheets of graphdiyne, selected for its excellent molecular adsorption properties. Like graphene, graphdiyne is a single layer of carbon atoms in hexagonal rings, but is further divided into triangular pores by chains of carbon-hydrogen bonds. The graphdiyne sensor was quicker to detect DNA than a graphene-based sensor, and could distinguish between a range of target single and double-strand DNA from viruses.
Biosensors such as these, that can rapidly detect distinct DNA, could be used for immediate disease diagnosis, gene therapy and food safety checks.
- Advanced Materials 29, 1606755 (2017). doi: 10.1002/adma.201606755