Recent advances in DNA assembly and affinity binding have enabled exciting developments of nanosensors and ultrasensitive assays for specific proteins.1–6 These sensors and assays share three main attractive features:1, 4, 7 1) the detection of proteins can be accomplished by the detection of amplifiable DNA, thereby dramatically enhancing the sensitivity; 2) assembly of DNA is triggered by affinity binding of two or more probes to a single target molecule, thereby resulting in increased specificity; and 3) the assay is conducted in solution with no need for separation, thus making the assay attractive for potential point-of-care applications. We illustrate here the principle of assembling DNA through affinity binding, and we highlight novel applications to the detection of proteins.
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