Förster resonance energy transfer nanoplatform based on recognition-induced fusion/fission of DNA mixed micelles for nucleic acid sensing

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The dynamic nature of micellar nanostructures is employed to form a self-assembled Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) nanoplatform for enhanced sensing of DNA. The platform consists of lipid oligonucleotide FRET probes incorporated into micellar scaffolds, where single recognition events result in fusion and fission of DNA mixed micelles, triggering the fluorescence response of multiple rather than a single FRET pair. In comparison to conventional FRET substrates where a single donor interacts with a single acceptor, the micellar multiplex FRET system showed ∼20- and ∼3-fold enhancements in the limit of detection and FRET efficiency, respectively. This supramolecular signal amplification approach could potentially be used to improve FRET-based diagnostic assays of nucleic acid and non-DNA based targets.

Bibliographic note

Funding Information: We acknowledge financial support of this work by the EPSRC (Grant EP/K027263/1) and ERC (Consolidator Grant 614787). This project was also supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 795415. The Centre for Chemical and Materials Analysis at the University of Birmingham is acknowledged for technical support.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8517-8524
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number5
Early online date7 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2021


  • DNA sensing, FRET, lipid oligonucleotide conjugates, micelle, signal enhancement, DNA, Micelles, Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer, Nanostructures, Nucleic Acids, Lipid Oligonucleotide Conjugates, Dna Sensing, Micelle, Signal Enhancement