Photocaged Nanoparticle Sensor for Sensitive MicroRNA Imaging in Living Cancer Cells with Temporal Control

Abstract

Sensitive imaging of microRNA in living cells is of great value for disease diagnostics and prognostics. While signal amplification-based strategies have been developed for imaging low-abundance disease-relevant microRNA molecules, precise temporal control over sensor activity in living cells still remains a challenge, and limits their applications for sensing microRNA concentration dynamics. Herein, we report a class of photocaged nanoparticle sensors for highly sensitive imaging of microRNA in living cells with temporal control. The sensor features a DNA-templated gold nanoparticle-quantum dot satellite nanostructure which is temporarily inactivated by a photocaged DNA mask. Upon UV light irradiation, the sensor restores its activity for catalytic sensing of microRNA in living cells via entropy-driven two-step toehold-mediated strand displacement reactions. We show that the sensor exhibits quick response to UV light, robust intracellular stability, and high specificity and sensitivity for the microRNA target. On the basis of this strategy, precise control over sensor activity is achieved using an external light trigger, where on-demand sensing could be potentially performed with spatiotemporal control

    Similar works

    Full text

    thumbnail-image

    Available Versions