Hybridization-induced isothermal cycling signal amplification for sensitive electronic detection of nucleic acid

Libing Fu, Dianping Tang*, Junyang Zhuang, Wenqiang Lai, Xiaohua Que, Guonan Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This works reports a new signal-on amplification strategy for sensitive electronic detection of nucleic acid based on the isothermal circular strand-displacement polymerization (ICSDP) reaction. The assay mainly involves a hybridization of ferrocene-labeled hairpin DNA with blocker DNA, a strand-displacement process with target DNA, and an ICSDP-based polymerization reaction. The signal is amplified by the labeled ferrocene on the hairpin probe with target recycling. Upon addition of target analyte, the blocker DNA is initially displaced by target DNA from the hairpin/blocker DNA duplex owing to the difference of the folding free energy, then the newly formed target/blocker DNA duplex causes the ICSDP reaction with the aid of the primer and polymerase, and then the released target DNA retriggers the strand-displacement for target recycling. Numerous ferrocene molecules are close to the electrode surface due to the reformation of hairpin DNA, each of which produces an electronic signal within the applied potentials, thereby resulting in the amplification of electrochemical signal. Under the optimal conditions, the ICSDP-based amplification method displays good electrochemical responses for detection of target DNA at a concentration as low as 0.03. pM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA hybridization
  • Electrochemical sensor
  • Isothermal cyclic signal amplification
  • Nucleic acid


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