Nanoscale metal-organic frameworks (NMOFs) have been proved to be effective quenching platforms for fluorescent detection of DNA via fluorophore-quencher pairs. Zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) is one type of the most promising NMOFs because of its excellent biocompatibility and easy preparation. However, ZIF-8 is rarely used as platforms for fluorescence sensing of DNA because of its bad fluorescence quenching property. In this study, lanthanide ions were doped into ZIF-8 to regulate its fluorescence quenching behavior. The La3+ doped ZIF-8 (ZIF-8-La) showed the best quenching efficiency on dye-labeled DNA. The signal-to-background ratio was around 3 times higher than ZIF-8. Furthermore, a core-shell La3+-doped ZIF-8 (CS-ZIF-8-La) was designed to modify more La3+ on the surface of ZIF-8. Compared with ZIF-8-La, the CS-ZIF-8-La exhibited the same fluorescence sensing behavior toward positive-dye-labeled DNA, but showed completely contrary quenching property on the negative-dye-labeled DNA. On the basis of this phenomenon, CS-ZIF-8-La was successfully used as quenching platform for designing a ratiometric sensor for DNA and microRNA.
Keywords: DNA/microRNA;; fluorescence quenching; lanthanide ions;; metal−organic frameworks;; ratiometric sensing;.