Functional-DNA-based nanoscale materials and devices for sensing trace contaminants in water

Daryl P. Wernette, Juewen Liu, Paul W. Bohn, Yi Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trace contaminant detection in water represents both a grand challenge and great opportunity for materials scientists and engineers. The recent discovery that functional DNA can be obtained to bind selectively to a wide range of contaminants makes it possible to interface these molecules with nanoscale materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots, to transform the molecular reorganization between functional DNA and contaminants into physically detectable colorimetric and fluorescent signals. Micro- and nanofluidic devices have also played a critical role in lowering the detection limits of functional-DNA sensors, promoting sensor regeneration and thus improving sensor performance and allowing long-term unattended monitoring of water quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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