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Synthesis of new Metal Complex - Biomolecule Hybrids as Redox Sensors for Specific Nucleobases

G. Gasser, A.M. Bond, B. Graham, Z. Kosowski and L. Spiccia
Monash University, AU

biosensors, ferrocene, DNA, RNA

There are a number of redox-active supramolecular receptors described in the literature, but those containing ferrocene as a redox-active reporter group are the most frequently cited. It has been shown that modified ferrocenyl conjugates can be used as signalling probes for the detection of nucleic acids. Our research group has therefore directed its attention to the preparation of new metal complexes, biomolecule hybrids, with the aim of sensing specific RNA/DNA sequences. We succeeded to insert ferrocene into a modified uracil base in order to control, by electrochemistry, the binding of our bioconjugates to the target RNA/DNA. The pathway used to attach ferrocene to the uracil derivative gave very high yields and has been accomplished using very simple, commercially available reagents. The electrochemical responses of our new molecular sensor to the different bases of RNA and DNA will be presented.

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