Aptamers, single-stranded nucleic acids that can selectively bind to various target molecules, have been widely used for constructing biosensors. A major challenge in this field, however, is direct sensing of analytes in complex biological media such as undiluted serum. While progress has been made in developing an inhomogeneous assay by using a preseparation step to wash away the interferences within serum, a facile strategy for direct detection of targets in homogeneous unprocessed serum is highly desired. We herein report a turn-on luminescent aptamer biosensor for the direct detection of adenosine in undiluted and unprocessed serum, by taking advantage of a terbium chelate complex with long luminescence lifetime to achieve time-resolved detection. The sensor exhibits a detection limit of 60 μM adenosine while marinating excellent selectivity that is comparable to those in buffer. The approach demonstrated here can be applied for direct detection and quantification of a broad range of analytes in biological media by using other aptamers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry