We report application of lanthanide nanoparticles for DNA quantification in a microarray platform as a substitute for conventional organic fluorophores. A non-PCR based DNA microarray assay for quantifying bacteria capable of biodegrading methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) was demonstrated. Probe DNA was immobilized on a glass surface, hybridized with biotinylated target DNA and subsequently incubated with Neutravidin-biofunctionalized nanoparticles. The fluorescence spot intensities, measured by a commercial laser scanner, show a linear relationship (R2 = 0.98) with bacterial 16S rDNA over a range of target DNA concentrations, while the background fluorescence remained low. In addition, nanoparticles fluorescence shows a stronger intensity than Quasar570 (Cy3). Present sensitivity of the assay is 10 pM of target DNA. The selectivity of the DNA-nanoparticle-probes to discriminate a non-target DNA with two base pairs mismatch in the 16S rDNA gene sequence was shown. The use of Eu:Gd2O3 nanoparticles as biolabels provides a relatively non-toxic, inexpensive, rapid and sensitive alternative to the materials currently used in DNA microarrays.
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