An electrochemiluminescent microRNA biosensor based on hybridization chain reaction coupled with hemin as the signal enhancer†
In this study, a new universal biosensor based on luminol anodic electrochemiluminescence (ECL) for the detection of microRNA-155 was constructed by using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a co-reactant and hemin as a catalyzer for signal amplification. The bare glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was first electrodeposited with Au nanoparticles (AuNPs). Then, helper DNA, which was partly complementary with the hairpin DNA chains, was assembled on the prepared GCE. Target microRNA-155 and the hairpin hybridization chains could create a formation of extended double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) polymers through the displacement of hybridization chains and the hybridization chain reaction (HCR). The HCR-generated dsDNA polymers give rise to the intercalation of a lot of hemin which could catalyze the oxidation of H2O2, leading to a remarkably amplified ECL signal output. The proposed biosensor showed a wide linear range from 5 fM to 50 pM with a relatively low detection limit of 1.67 fM for microRNA-155 detection. With excellent selectivity, good stability and high sensitivity, the proposed biosensor is promising in the development of a high-throughput assay of microRNA-155.