To resolve time-consuming and imperceptible monitoring problems in the traditional systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX), we report gold nanoparticle-assisted SELEX (GNP-SELEX) as a visual, proofreading, and self-monitoring platform and its application to small molecule-binding single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) aptasensors. Through the colorimetric changes between rounds, GNP-SELEX enabled the rapid determination of target-specific aptamer library enrichment with neither target modification nor extra monitoring process. We identified ssDNA aptamers with high selectivity and binding affinity by targeting two small molecules (brassinolide; BL and bisphenol A; BPA) as a model. The rational design of selected aptamers by 3D molecular simulation increased their ability to detect BL or BPA in real samples as bioreceptors. These results suggest that GNP-SELEX is useful as a self-monitoring platform to discover ssDNA aptamers as well as to develop aptasensors for diverse targets in a rapid and simple way.
- Gold nanoparticle