Aptamer-tethered self-assembled FRET-flares for microRNA imaging in living cancer cells†
We report an aptamer-tethered, self-assembled DNA nanowire as a multivalent vehicle for the intracellular delivery of FRET flares. The FRET flares are bound to the nanowire and fluorescently labeled donors and acceptors at two ends, respectively. In the absence of targets, the flares are captured by binding with the nanowires, separating the donor and acceptor (low FRET). However, in the presence of target miRNAs, the flares are displaced from the nanowire, subsequently forming hairpin structures that bring the donor and acceptor into close proximity (high FRET).