Biosensors are analytical devices that have found a variety of applications in medical diagnostics, food quality control, environmental monitoring and biodefense. In recent years, functional nucleic acids, such as aptamers and nucleic acid enzymes, have shown great potential in biosensor development due to their excellent ability in target recognition and catalysis. Deoxyribozymes (or DNAzymes) are single-stranded DNA molecules with catalytic activity and can be isolated to recognize a wide range of analytes through the process of in vitro selection. By using various signal transduction mechanisms, DNAzymes can be engineered into fluorescent, colorimetric, electrochemical and chemiluminescent biosensors. Among them, colorimetric sensors represent an attractive option as the signal can be easily detected by the naked eye. This reduces reliance on complex and expensive equipment. In this review, we will discuss the recent progress in the development of colorimetric biosensors that make use of DNAzymes and the prospect of employing these sensors in a range of chemical and biological applications.
Keywords: DNAzymes; biosensors; colorimetric sensors.