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Title: Improving colorimetric assays through protein enzyme-assisted gold nanoparticle amplification
Authors: Xie, X.
Xu, W.
Liu, X. 
Issue Date: 18-Sep-2012
Citation: Xie, X., Xu, W., Liu, X. (2012-09-18). Improving colorimetric assays through protein enzyme-assisted gold nanoparticle amplification. Accounts of Chemical Research 45 (9) : 1511-1520. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The discovery of the DNA-mediated assembly of gold nanoparticles was a great moment in the history of science; this understanding and chemical control enabled the rational design of functional nanomaterials as novel probes in biodetection. In contrast with conventional probes such as organic dyes, gold nanoparticles exhibit high photostability and unique size-dependent optical properties. Because of their high extinction coefficients and strong distance dependent optical properties, these nanoparticles have emerged over the past decade as a promising platform for rapid, highly sensitive colorimetric assays that allow for the visual detection of low concentrations of metal ions, small molecules, and biomacromolecules. These discoveries have deepened our knowledge of biological phenomena and facilitated the development of many new diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Despite these many advances and continued research efforts, current nanoparticle-based colorimetric detection systems still suffer from several drawbacks, such as limited sensitivity and selectivity.This Account describes the recent development of colorimetric assays based on protein enzyme-assisted gold nanoparticle amplification. The benefits of such detection systems include significantly improved detection sensitivity and selectivity. First, we discuss the general design of enzyme-modified nanoparticle systems in colorimetric assays. We show that a quantitative understanding of the unique properties of different enzymes is paramount for effective biological assays. We then examine the assays for nucleic acid detection based on different types of enzymes, including endonucleases, ligases, and polymerases. For each of these assays, we identify the underlying principles that contribute to the enhanced detection capability of nanoparticle systems and illustrate them with selected examples. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the combination of gold nanoparticles and specific enzymes can probe enzyme dynamics and function with high specificity, offering substantial advantages in both sensitivity and specificity over conventional detection methods. The screening of nuclease, methyltransferase, protease, and kinase activities can be colorimetrically performed in a straightforward manner.Finally, we discuss examples of colorimetric assays for metal ions and small molecules that constitute important advances toward visual monitoring of enzyme catalytic functions and gene expression. Although these enzyme-assisted assay methods hold great promise for myriad applications in biomedicine and bioimaging, the application of the described techniques in vivo faces formidable challenges. In addition, researchers do not fully understand the interactions of gold nanoparticles with enzyme molecules. This understanding will require the development of new techniques to probe enzyme substrate dynamics at the particle interface with higher spatial resolution and chemical specificity. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
Source Title: Accounts of Chemical Research
ISSN: 00014842
DOI: 10.1021/ar300044j
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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