Nano-flares: Probes for transfection and mRNA detection in living cells

Dwight S. Seferos, David A. Giljohann, Haley D. Hill, Andrew E. Prigodich, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

579 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that novel oligonucleotide-modified gold nanoparticle probes hybridized to fluorophore-labeled complements can be used as both transfection agents and cellular "nano-flares" for detecting mRNA in living cells. Nano-flares take advantage of the highly efficient fluorescence quenching properties of gold, cellular uptake of oligonucleotide nanoparticle conjugates without the use of transfection agents, and the enzymatic stability of such conjugates, thus overcoming many of the challenges to creating sensitive and effective intracellular probes. Nano-flares exhibit high signaling, have low background fluorescence, and are sensitive to changes in the number of RNA transcripts present in cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15477-15479
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 19 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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