GOLD QUENCHED MOLECULAR BEACONS
Department of Health and Human Services
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Small Business Information
NANOPROBES, INC., 95 HORSEBLOCK RD, YAPHANK, NY, 11980
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractMolecular beacons are hairpin loops of DNA, conjugated to a fluorescent label at one end and a quencher at the other. Upon binding to a complementary target, the beacon opens, the fluorophore and quencher move apart, and fluorescence appears. Sensitivity is dependent upon the "signal-to-noise ratio" of fluorescence intensities in the open and closed conformations. Conventional dabcyl-quenched beacons give intensity ratios up to 100. However, the 1.4 nM Nanogold cluster yields intensity ratios up to several thousand, and since it absorbs over a wide range of wavelengths, can quench a variety of fluorophores. Improved gold nanoparticle quenchers will be prepared, using larger gold particles to achieve more effective quenching through surface plasmon coupling. Fluorescence quenching properties of these labels will be made reproducible through the synthesis of modified ligands which increase the solubility, stability and biological compatibility of he beacon, while introducing specific affinities for fluorophores to hold the gold particle and quencher closer together and increase quenching in the closed configuration. Purification methods will be developed and gold quenched DNA and PNA beacons will be compared with conventional analogs for rapid bacterial characterization. Prototype reusable biosensors will be fabricated by immobilizing gold-quenched beacons on fiber optic cables.
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