Fluorescence resonance energy transfer, one of the most powerful phenomena for elucidating molecular interactions, has been extensively utilized as a biosensing tool to provide accurate information at the nanoscale. Numerous aptamer- and nanomaterial-based FRET bioassays has been developed for detection of a large variety of molecules. Affinity probes are widely used in biosensors, in which aptamers have emerged as advantageous biorecognition elements, due to their chemical and structural stability. Similarly, optically active nanomaterials offer significant advantages over conventional organic dyes, such as superior photophysical properties, large surface-to-volume ratios, photostability, and longer shelf life. In this report (with 175 references), the use of aptamer-modified nanomaterials as FRET couples is reviewed: quantum dots, upconverting nanoparticles, graphene, reduced graphene oxide, gold nanoparticles, molybdenum disulfide, graphene quantum dots, carbon dots, and metal-organic frameworks. Tabulated summaries provide the reader with useful information on the current state of research in the field. Graphical abstract Schematic representation of a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based aptamer nanoprobe in the absence and presence of a given target molecule (analyte). Structures are not drawn to their original scales.
Keywords: Biosensors; Carbon dots; FRET; Gold nanoparticles; Graphene; Graphene quantum dots; Metal-organic framework; Quantum dots; Reduced graphene oxide; Up-converting nanoparticles; ssDNA.