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Issue 7, 2005
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Molecular beacons for bioanalytical applications

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Molecular beacons (MBs) are hairpin-shaped oligonucleotides that contain both fluorophore and quencher moieties. They act like switches and are normally in a closed state, when the fluorophore and the quencher are brought together to turn “off” the fluorescence. When prompted to undergo conformational changes that open the hairpin structure, the fluorophore and the quencher are separated, and fluorescence is turned “on.” This Education will outline the principles of MBs and discuss recent bioanalytical applications of these probes for in vitro RNA and DNA monitoring, biosensors and biochips, real-time monitoring of genes and gene expression in living systems, as well as the next generation of MBs for studies on proteins, the MB aptamers. These important applications have shown that MBs hold great potential in genomics and proteomics where real-time molecular recognition with high sensitivity and excellent specificity is critical.

Graphical abstract: Molecular beacons for bioanalytical applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jan 2005, accepted on 10 May 2005 and first published on 09 Jun 2005

Article type: Education
DOI: 10.1039/B500308N
Analyst, 2005,130, 1002-1005

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    Molecular beacons for bioanalytical applications

    L. Tan, Y. Li, T. J. Drake, L. Moroz, K. Wang, J. Li, A. Munteanu, C. James Yang, K. Martinez and W. Tan, Analyst, 2005, 130, 1002
    DOI: 10.1039/B500308N

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