Microchimica Acta

, 186:648 | Cite as

A ratiometric fluorescent nanoprobe consisting of ssDNA-templated silver nanoclusters for detection of histidine/cysteine, and the construction of combinatorial logic circuits

  • Xiaodong Lin
  • Zhe Hao
  • Haotian Wu
  • Minyang Zhao
  • Xia Gao
  • Shuo WangEmail author
  • Yaqing LiuEmail author
Original Paper


A ratiometric fluorescent nanoprobe consisting of ssDNA-templated silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) as dual fluorophore has been constructed for highly sensitive and selective detection of cystein (Cys) and histidine (His). The DNA-AgNCs displays dual emission in that photoexcitation at 470 nm results in weak-green fluorescence peaking at 560 nm, while excitation at 550 nm gives strong red fluorescence with a peak at 595 nm. It is found that copper ions (Cu2+) enhance the green fluorescence but quenche the red fluorescence. A ratiometric nanoprobe for Cys (or His) is designed that is based on the competitive interaction of Cys (or His), Cu2+ and DNA-AgNCs. Cys can be distinguished from His by adding Ni2+ as the masking agent, andr His can be distinguished from Cys by adding N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) as the masking agent, respectively. The limits of detection are 5.1 and 4.5 nM for Cys and His, respectively. Furthermore, the ratiometric fluorescent nanoprobe is used for constructing combinatorial logic circuits in parallel, including OR//NOR and INHIBIT//IMPLICATION (INH//IMP).

Graphical abstract

Schematic representation of a ratiometric assay based on DNA-AgNCs with dual emission for detection of histidine/cysteine in serum sample. The sensing system are further used to construct combinatorial logic circuits.


Ratiometric nanoprobe Amino acid DNA-AgNCs Fluorometric biosensor Logic gates 



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21575138 and No. 21775108), and the Tianjin Science and Technology Project (No. 18PTSYJC00130).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2019_3749_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.9 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 3.87 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety (Ministry of Education), College of Food Engineering and BiotechnologyTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinChina
  2. 2.Tianjin Key Laboratory of Food Science and Health, School of medicineNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human HealthBeijing Technology and Business UniversityBeijingChina

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