We report a novel method for rapid, colorimetric detection of a specific deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence by carrying out a polymerase chain reaction in the presence of gold nanoparticles functionalized with two primers. Extension of the primers when the target DNA is present as a template during the polymerase chain reaction process affords the complementary sequences on the gold nanoparticle surfaces and results in the formation of gold nanoparticle aggregates with a concomitant color change from red to pinkish/purple. This method provides a convenient and straightforward solution for ultrasensitive DNA detection without any further post-treatment of the polymerase chain reaction products being necessary, and is a promising tool for rapid disease diagnostics and gene sequencing.


deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) detection polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Au nanoparticle colorimetric

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010