A gold nanoparticle-based detection strategy for ATP assays. In the absence of ATP, gold nanoparticles are not stabilized by the rigid duplex, thus they are readily aggregated by salt (solution displaying blue colors); in contrast ATP induces a duplex-to-aptamer structural switching, liberating a random coil-like ssDNA. Gold nanoparticles are stabilized by the liberated ssDNA, showing high resistance to salt-induced aggregation (solution staying in red).
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