A hot-spot-active magnetic graphene oxide substrate for microRNA detection based on cascaded chemiluminescence resonance energy transfer†
Herein, a cascaded chemiluminescence resonance energy transfer (C-CRET) process was demonstrated from horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-mimicking DNAzyme-catalyzed luminol–H2O2 to fluorescein and further to graphene oxide (GO) when HRP-mimicking DNAzyme/fluorescein was in close proximity to the GO surface. The proposed C-CRET system was successfully implemented to construct three modes of C-CRET hot-spot-active substrates (modes I, II and III) by covalently immobilizing HRP-mimicking DNAzyme/fluorescein-labeled hairpin DNAs (hot-spot-generation probes) on magnetic GO (MGO), resulting in a signal “off” state due to the quenching of the luminol/H2O2/HRP-mimicking DNAzyme/fluorescein CRET system by GO. Upon the introduction of microRNA-122 (miRNA-122), the targets (mode I) or the new triggers that were generated through a strand displacement reaction (SDR) initiated by miRNA-122 (modes II and III) hybridized with the loop domains of hairpin probes on MGO to form double-stranded (modes I and II) or triplex-stem structures (mode III), causing an “open” configuration of the hairpin probe and a CRET signal “on” state, thus achieving sensitive and selective detection of miRNA-122. More importantly, the substrate exhibited excellent controllability, reversibility and reproducibility through SDR and magnetic separation (modes II and III), especially sequence-independence for hairpin probes in mode III, holding great potential for the development of a versatile platform for optical biosensing.