Catalytic and molecular beacons for amplified detection of metal ions and organic molecules with high sensitivity

Xiao Bing Zhang, Zidong Wang, Hang Xing, Yu Xiang, Yi Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The catalytic beacon has emerged as a general platform for sensing metal ions and organic molecules. However, few reports have taken advantage of the true potential of catalytic beacons in signal amplification through multiple enzymatic turnovers, as existing designs require either equal concentrations of substrate and DNAzyme or an excess of DNAzyme in order to maintain efficient quenching, eliminating the excess of substrate necessary for multiple turnovers. On the basis of the large difference in the melting temperatures between the intramolecular molecular beacon stem and intermolecular products of identical sequences, we here report a general strategy of catalytic and molecular beacon (CAMB) that combines the advantages of the molecular beacon for highly efficient quenching with the catalytic beacon for amplified sensing through enzymatic turnovers. Such a CAMB design allows detection of metal ions such as Pb 2+ with a high sensitivity (LOD = 600 pM). Furthermore, the aptamer sequence has been introduced into DNAzyme to use the modified CAMB for amplified sensing of adenosine with similar high sensitivity. These results together demonstrate that CAMB provides a general platform for amplified detection of a wide range of targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5005-5011
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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