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Simultaneous analysis based on encoded fluorophores suffers from potential crosstalk between fluorophores and the limited number of colors that can be practically resolved. Inspired by nontrivial temporal patterns in living organisms, we developed a DNA-templated probe by utilizing DNA polymerase (DNAP) for multiplexed detection of nucleic acids. These probes use differential delay times of signaling by a DNAP-mediated extension to distinguish different targets, which serve as the primers. Taking advantage of the high processivity and the controllable kinetics of DNAP, we find that multiplexed detection can be achieved in homogeneous solution using a single fluorophore. As a proof of concept, we developed assays for genomic DNA from four different bacteria. In addition, we designed and implemented probes to undergo a single oscillation in signal as an alternative way for multiplexing. We anticipate this approach will find broad applications not only in sensing but also in synthetic DNA nanosystems.


Yingnan Deng, Liang Ma, Qianqian Han, Changyuan Yu, Alexander Johnson-Buck, Xin Su. DNA-Templated Timer Probes for Multiplexed Sensing. Nano letters. 2020 Apr 08;20(4):2688-2694

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PMID: 32119561

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