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While there are a number of electrochemical methods reported that enable the detection of single nucleotide mismatches, the determination of mismatch position in a double stranded DNA remains an unsolved challenge. Using a model system, we systematically explored the electrochemical response of all possible positions of single nucleotide mismatches in a set of 25-mer DNA films. These ds-DNA sequences each with a single mismatch at one of the twenty-five positions were bound to gold surfaces through a Au–S linkage and analyzed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) in the absence and presence of Zn2+. We expected a unique response from each mismatched sequence in order to discriminate the mismatch positions. A pattern emerges between the electrochemical signals and mismatch positions. The positions can be grouped broadly into positions that exhibit large differences between matched and mismatched DNA (around positions 5 and 9) and those that exhibit smaller differences (around positions 1, 13 and 23) in the charge transfer resistance ΔRct, evaluated by EIS, and the apparent rate constant k0, evaluated by SECM. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study evaluating the electrochemical response of a single nucleotide mismatch as a function of mismatch positions along an oligonucleotide sequence.
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