Polyethylenimine-coated Fe3O4 nanoparticles effectively quench fluorescent DNA, which can be developed as a novel platform for protein detection
We report a novel assembly of polyethyleneimine (PEI)-coated Fe3O4 nanoparticles (NPs) with single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), and the fluorescence of the dye labeled in the DNA is remarkably quenched. In the presence of a target protein, the protein–DNA aptamer mutual interaction releases the ssDNA from this assembly and hence restores the fluorescence. This feature could be adopted to develop an aptasensor for protein detection. As a proof-of-concept, for the first time, we have used this proposed sensing strategy to detect thrombin selectively and sensitively. Furthermore, simultaneous multiple detection of thrombin and lysozyme in a complex protein mixture has been proven to be possible.