Detecting DNA Using Fluorescent Silver Nanoclusters
Techniques that detect and identify particular DNA sequences are essential tools that researchers and doctors use for studying and diagnosing disease. Fluorescent silver nanoclusters (AgNCs) are a novel nanoscale system used for the detection of DNA and other biological and chemical species relevant to medical diagnostics. AgNCs are fluorescent particles consisting of fewer than 30 atoms of silver that are easily synthesized in water using various polymers, including DNA. By creating AgNCs with synthetic DNA molecules, these nanoclusters can be used as novel sensors to detect the presence of specific DNA sequences. The overall goal of this research project is to study the fundamental structural properties of the silver‐DNA complexes, as well as developing ways for integrating them into microfluidic detection systems. During the summer, we have synthesized fluorescent clusters and measured their fluorescence emission to detect the presence of DNA in samples, thus demonstrating the utility of the nanoclusters for detection assays.