DNAzyme sensors for detection of metal ions in the environment and imaging them in living cells

Claire E. McGhee, Kang Yong Loh, Yi Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The on-site and real-time detection of metal ions is important for environmental monitoring and for understanding the impact of metal ions on human health. However, developing sensors selective for a wide range of metal ions that can work in the complex matrices of untreated samples and cells presents significant challenges. To meet these challenges, DNAzymes, an emerging class of metal ion-dependent enzymes selective for almost any metal ion, have been functionalized with fluorophores, nanoparticles and other imaging agents and incorporated into sensors for the detection of metal ions in environmental samples and for imaging metal ions in living cells. Herein, we highlight the recent developments of DNAzyme-based fluorescent, colorimetric, SERS, electrochemical and electrochemiluminscent sensors for metal ions for these applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-201
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering

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