Nucleic acid aptamers are emerging as useful molecular recognition tools for food safety monitoring. However, practical and technical challenges limit the number and diversity of available aptamer probes that can be incorporated into novel sensing schemes. This work describes the selection of novel DNA aptamers that bind to the important food contaminant ochratoxin A (OTA). Following 15 rounds of in vitro selection, sequences were analyzed for OTA binding. Two of the isolated aptamers demonstrated high affinity binding and selectivity to this mycotoxin compared to similar food adulterants. These sequences, as well as a truncated aptamer (minimal sequence required for binding), were incorporated into a SYBR® Green I fluorescence-based OTA biosensing scheme. This label-free detection platform is capable of rapid, selective, and sensitive OTA quantification with a limit of detection of 9 nM and linear quantification up to 100 nM.

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Keywords Aptamer, Aptasensor, Biosensing, Fluorescent assay, In vitro selection, Mycotoxins, Ochratoxin A, SELEX, SYBR green I
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Journal Toxins
McKeague, M. (Maureen), Velu, R. (Ranganathan), Hill, K. (Kayla), Bardóczy, V. (Viola), Mészáros, T. (Tamás), & DeRosa, M.C. (2014). Selection and characterization of a novel DNA aptamer for label-free fluorescence biosensing of ochratoxin A. Toxins, 6(8), 2435–2452. doi:10.3390/toxins6082435