Selective detection of Escherichia coli DNA using fluorescent carbon spindles†
We investigate the interaction of hydrophilic blue emitting carbon spindles with various deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) having different base pair compositions, such as Herring testes (HT), calf thymus (CT), Escherichia coli (EC) and Micrococcus lysodeikticus (ML) DNA, to understand the mode of interaction. Interestingly, the fluorescent carbon spindles selectively interacted with E. coli DNA resulting in enhanced fluorescence of the former. Interaction of the same carbon with other DNAs exhibited insignificant changes in fluorescence. In addition, in the presence of EC DNA, the D band in the Raman spectrum attributed to the defect state completely disappeared, resulting in enhanced crystallinity. Microscopy images confirmed the wrapping of DNA on the carbon spindles leading to the assembly of spindles in the form of flowers. Dissociation of double-stranded DNA occurred upon interaction with carbon spindles, resulting in selective E. coli DNA interaction. The carbon spindles also exhibited a similar fluorescence enhancement upon treating with E. coli bacteria. These results confirm the possibility of E. coli detection in water and other liquid foods using such fluorescent carbon.