Oligonucleotide-stabilized fluorescent silver nanoclusters for the specific and sensitive detection of biotin†
A novel biotin fluorescent probe based on oligonucleotide-stabilized silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) was synthesized by employing a biotinylated cytosine-rich sequence as a synthesized template. The fluorescence properties of the DNA-AgNCs are related to the modified position of the DNA. When biotin is linked to the middle thymine base of the DNA sequence, the DNA-AgNCs emit the strongest fluorescence. Moreover, the stability of the DNA-AgNCs was affected by avidin through biotin–avidin binding, quenching the fluorescence of the DNA-AgNCs. In contrast, if free biotin is further introduced into this system, the quenching is apparently weakened by competition, leading to the restoration of fluorescence. This phenomenon can be utilized for the detection of biotin. Under the optimal conditions, the fluorescence recovery is linearly proportional to the concentration of biotin in the range of 10 nM–1.0 μM with a detection limit of 6.0 nM. This DNA-AgNCs probe with excellent fluorescent properties is sensitive and selective for the detection of biotin and has been applied for the determination of biotin in wheat flour.