Fluorescence switch for silver ion detection utilizing dimerization of DNA-Ag nanoclusters

Jihyun Lee, Juhee Park, Hong Hee Lee, Hansoo Park, Hugh I. Kim, Won Jong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


A fluorescence switch that consists of DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) triggered by silver ion (Ag+) is developed to detect Ag+. The mechanism of the fluorescence switching of DNA-AgNCs is investigated by fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism spectroscopy, DNA hybridization assay and mass spectrometry. Ag+ induces a dimeric structure of Cyt12-AgNCs by forming a bridge between two Cyt12-AgNCs, where Cyt12 is cytosine 12-mer; this dimer formation causes the fluorescence change of Cyt12-AgNCs from red to green. Using this Ag+-triggered fluorescence switch, we successfully detected Ag+ at concentrations as low as 10nM. Furthermore, we quantitatively detected the Ag+ in the Silmazin®, which is dermatological burn ointment having silver sulfadiazine. Ag+ detection using this fluorescence switch has high selectivity and sensitivity, and short response time, and can be used successfully even in the presence of other metal ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-647
Number of pages6
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 5
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Research Center Program of IBS (Institute for Basic Science) in Korea ( CA1203-02 ). Jihyun Lee was supported by Global Ph.D Fellowship grant from National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2012-H1A2A1005715).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • DNA-template silver nanoclusters
  • Fluorescence switch
  • Fluorescent probes
  • Silver ion detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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