Förster Resonance Energy Transfer-Enhanced Detection of Minute Amounts of DNA

Luca Ceresa, Jose Chavez, Magdalena M. Bus, Bruce Budowle, Emma Kitchner, Joseph Kimball, Ignacy Gryczynski, Zygmunt Gryczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article presents a novel approach to increase the detection sensitivity of trace amounts of DNA in a sample by employing Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between intercalating dyes. Two intercalators that present efficient FRET were used to enhance sensitivity and improve specificity in detecting minute amounts of DNA. Comparison of steady-state acceptor emission spectra with and without the donor allows for simple and specific detection of DNA (acceptor bound to DNA) down to 100 pg/μL. When utilizing as an acceptor a dye with a significantly longer lifetime (e.g., ethidium bromide bound to DNA), multipulse pumping and time-gated detection enable imaging/visualization of picograms of DNA present in a microliter of an unprocessed sample or DNA collected on a swab or other substrate materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5062-5068
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 29 Mar 2022


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