“Dipstick” Colorimetric Detection of Metal Ions Based on Immobilization of DNAzyme and Gold Nanoparticles onto a Lateral Flow Device

  • Debapriya Mazumdar
  • Tian Lan
  • Yi Lu
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1571)


Real-time, on-site detection and quantification of different trace analytes is a challenge that requires both searching a general class of molecules to recognize a broad range of contaminants and translating this recognition to easily detectable signals. Functional nucleic acids, which include DNAzymes (DNA with catalytic activity) and aptamers (nucleic acids that bind an analyte), are ideal candidates for the target recognition. These nucleic acids can be selected by a combinatorial biology method called in vitro selection to interact with a particular analyte with high specificity and sensitivity. Furthermore, they can be incorporated into sensors by attaching signaling molecules. Due to the high extinction coefficients and distance-dependent optical properties, metallic nanoparticles such as the commonly used gold nanoparticles have been shown to be very attractive in converting analyte-specific functional DNA into colorimetric sensors. DNAzyme directed assembly of gold nanoparticles has been used to make colorimetric sensors for metal ions such as lead, uranium, and copper. To make the operation even easier and less vulnerable to operator's errors, dipstick tests have been constructed. Here, we describe protocols for the preparation of DNAzyme-linked gold nanoparticles (AuNP) that are then immobilized on to lateral flow devices to make easy-to-use dipstick tests for metal ions.

Key words

Dipstick Nanoparticle Sensor Colorimetric Lateral flow DNAzyme Metal ions 



This material is based on work from the following funding agencies—National Institute of Health (Grant no. ES016865), Department of Energy (DE- FG02-08ER64568), the National Science Foundation (Grant no. CTS-0120978 and DMI-0328162), and Department of House and Urban Development (ILLHT0112-06). Yi Lu is a cofounder of both ANDalyze and GlucoSentient, Inc.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ANDalyze Inc.ChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Glucosentient Inc.ChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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