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Quantum Dots as Inorganic DNA-Binding Proteins

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2011

Catherine J. Murphy
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 murphy@psc.sc.edu
Eric B. Brauns
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 murphy@psc.sc.edu
Latha Gearheart
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208 murphy@psc.sc.edu
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Abstract

Semiconductor quantum dots of cadmium sulfide, CdS, are approximately the size of proteins and are photoluminescent in the red, yellow, or green, depending on surface preparation. This photoluminescence is very sensitive to the Nature and amount of adsorbates. We have found that DNAs with intrinsic curvature adsorb more strongly to the surface of 47 Å CdS quantum dots, as judged by concentration-dependent changes in photoluminescence. The binding constants we obtain are similar to those found for nonspecific protein-DNA interactions. The surface groups of the CdS substrate also influence DNA adsorption. Thus these protein-sized colloidal particles can be used in chemical sensing applications for curved or kinked DNA; DNA with unusual structures is thought to influence biological function such as transcription.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1997

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