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Vol. 30 No. 1
January-February 2008

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Electrochemical DNA-Based Biosensors: Terms and Methodology

Biosensors based on deoxyribonucleic nucleic acid (DNA) are well recognized among the family of chemical sensors. With respect to the specific role of DNA in organisms, there are some remarkable specific features of DNA-based biosensors that are applied mainly to the investigation of DNA itself. These biosensors are used to determine the concentration, structure, and chemical reactivity of DNA in relation to drugs and chemicals, including pro- and antioxidants, and for the detection of specific genes or mutant genes associated with human genetic diseases and infectious agents. With electrochemical signal transducers, the main advantages of biosensors are their low cost, fast response, simple design, small dimensions, and low power requirements at their high-detection potentialities.

In 1999, the IUPAC technical report “Electrochemical Biosensors: Recommended Definitions and Classification” was published. This report did not deal extensively with DNA as the biological recognition element, but considered its use in the future. Since that time, significant progress has been achieved in the development and application of electrochemical sensors based on DNA and other nucleic acids (including aptamers and peptide nucleic acids). Yet, so far there have been no efforts at essential classification in this dynamically developing field. This project is intended to produce a critical evaluation of the terms and methodology related to DNA-based biosensors.

The project deals with the following:

  • DNA-based biocomponents (natural, biomimetic), including their electrochemical responses
  • type of interaction to be addressed (DNA hybridization, DNA-drug, interactions, aptamer-antigen interactions, etc.)
  • detection principles (label-free, label-based, reagentless, indicator-based, etc.)
  • construction of DNA biosensors and DNA chips
  • their specific performance criteria

This project should be valuable to academic, biomedical, environmental, and food-testing researchers, as well as to drug-developing labs and sensor producers.

For more information and content, contact the Task Group Chair Jan Labuda <jan.labuda@stuba.sk>.

www.iupac.org/projects/2006-026-1-500.html


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