Detection and Quantification of Tightly Bound Zn2+in Blood Serum Using a Photocaged Chelator and a DNAzyme Fluorescent Sensor

Shige Xing, Yao Lin, Liangyuan Cai, Prem N. Basa, Austin K. Shigemoto, Chengbin Zheng, Feng Zhang, Shawn C. Burdette, Yi Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNAzymes have emerged as a powerful class of sensors for metal ions due to their high selectivity over a wide range of metal ions, allowing for on-site and real-time detection. Despite much progress made in this area, detecting and quantifying tightly bound metal ions, such as those in the blood serum, remain a challenge because the DNAzyme sensors reported so far can detect only mobile metal ions that are accessible to bind the DNAzymes. To overcome this major limitation, we report the use of a photocaged chelator, XDPAdeCage to extract the Zn2+ from the blood serum and then release the chelated Zn2+ into a buffer using 365 nm light for quantification by an 8-17 DNAzyme sensor. Protocols to chelate, uncage, extract, and detect metal ions in the serum have been developed and optimized. Because DNAzyme sensors for other metal ions have already been reported and more DNAzyme sensors can be obtained using in vitro selection, the method reported in this work will significantly expand the applications of the DNAzyme sensors from sensing metal ions that are not only free but also bound to other biomolecules in biological and environmental samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5856-5861
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 13 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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