Abstract

The development of highly sensitive and low-cost methods for detecting DNA is of critical importance. Here, we describe a strategy for the highly sensitive and low-cost digital detection of target DNA. Individual DNA molecules were encoded with a single gold nanorod (Au NR), which was then separated and enriched using the magnetic immune-separation process, followed by dehybridization and dispersion into a buffer solution and immobilization on glass slides for polarized dark-field microscopic imaging. With the imaging we can get the first three data sets of the Stokes vector, and the experimental degree of the linear polarization of the light scattered by the Au NR was obtained. Using the Monte Carlo simulation program, the Muller matrix of the Au NRs was simulated and the simulated degree of the linear polarization was calculated to be 0.58. Based on the experimental and simulated degree of the linear polarization, the Au NRs were identified and quantified with an in-house Matlab program, and the concentration of the target DNA at the femtomolar level was therefore achieved.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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