DNA detection is highly important for the sensitive sensing of different pathogenic bacteria and viruses. The major challenge is to create a sensor that can selectively detect very small concentrations of DNA without the need for amplification or complicated equipment. Different technologies such as optical, electrochemical and microgravimetric approaches can detect DNA fragments. Here we show, for the first time, the use of self-assembled nanostructures generated by a metallo-peptide as an optical sensing platform for DNA detection. The system can selectively detect single stranded DNA fragments by fluorescence measurements as it can discriminate even one base mismatch and can perform in the presence of other interfering proteins. This system may be useful in lab-on-a-chip applications.
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© 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.