Nitrogen doped carbon dots derived from Sargassum fluitans as fluorophore for DNA detection

S. Godavarthi, K. Mohan Kumar, E. Vázquez Vélez, A. Hernandez-Eligio, M. Mahendhiran, N. Hernandez-Como, M. Aleman, L. Martinez Gomez

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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. This work focused on the use of waste seaweed Sargassum fluitans (S. fluitans) as carbon source precursor to prepare nitrogen doped carbon dots (NCDs) by hydrothermal method. High resolution transmission electron microscopic (HR-TEM) studies revealed that the synthesized water soluble NCDs are in the size range of 2–8 nm and exhibits excellent fluorescent properties with a quantum yield of 18.2%. Elemental nitrogen in NCDs was evidenced by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transformed infrared spectrum (FT-IR). The phytochemical analysis of S. fluitans using 1H NMR and 13C NMR revealed the presence of few amino acids which act as nitrogen source in the preparation of NCDs. Application of NCDs as fluorophore for double stranded DNA, single stranded DNA and RNA detection was highlighted in this study. Excellent fluorescent tagging abilities of NCDs with the biological nucleic acids were evidenced using gel electrophoresis. Significant increase in fluorescence was observed upon tagging of NCDs with nucleic acids and this particular phenomenon helps better in visualizing the nucleic acids. All three nucleic acids i.e. double stranded DNA, single stranded DNA and RNA showed similar phenomenon upon tagging with NCDs. Thus synthesized NCDs may be used as an alternate fluorophore for commercial toxic organic staining agents to visualize nucleic acids.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017


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