Associate professor Tianxiang Wei published a research paper in Analytical Chemistry (2019) doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.9b03071
Development of sensitive detection methods for microRNAs has realistic application value for early clinical analysis and accurate diagnosis. In this study, a triple-helix molecular switch electrochemiluminescence resonance energy transfer (ECL-RET) nanoamplifier was designed to construct an electrochemiluminescence (ECL) biosensor for microRNA determination. The newly synthesized S-doped Lu2O3, which shows a 3 times better ECL performance than Lu2O3, was chosen as the donor in this ECL-RET system. Accordingly, Ag2S quantum dots (QDs) were used as the matched acceptor. They exhibited overlapping spectra and efficient energy transfer between each other. Furthermore, using a triple-helix switch structure with an improved quenching effect for signal amplification and a nano-DNA walker transformational system as a powerful method for target amplification, a supernanoamplifier was achieved. As a consequence, the proposed ECL biosensor for microRNA-141 detection exhibited good analytical performance with a low detection limit (16 aM). The sensor not only led to the development of a novel ECL-RET pair but also provided a strong nanoamplifier for biosensing platform construction, which may offer some new considerations regarding material design, signal amplification, and show promising application value in biomedical and clinical diagnosis.