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.
- Minor groove binder based energy transfer