Aptamer sensor for cocaine using minor groove binder based energy transfer

Jinwen Zhou, Amanda Ellis, Hilton Kobus, Nicolas Voelcker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    We report on an optical aptamer sensor for cocaine detection. The cocaine sensitive fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled aptamer underwent a conformational change from a partial single-stranded DNA with a short hairpin to a double-stranded T-junction in the presence of the target. The DNA minor groove binder Hoechst 33342 selectively bound to the double-stranded T-junction, bringing the dye within the Förster radius of FITC, and therefore initiating minor groove binder based energy transfer (MBET), and reporting on the presence of cocaine. The sensor showed a detection limit of 0.2 μM. The sensor was also implemented on a carboxy-functionalized polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surface by covalently immobilizing DNA aptamers. The ability of surface-bound cocaine detection is crucial for the development of microfluidic sensors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)76-81
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2012


    • Aptamer
    • Cocaine
    • Minor groove binder based energy transfer
    • Polydimethylsiloxane


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