A Dual-Sensing DNA Nanostructure with an Ultrabroad Detection Range

Despite considerable interest in the development of biosensors that can measure analyte concentrations with a dynamic range spanning many orders of magnitude, this goal has proven difficult to achieve. We describe here a modular biosensor architecture that integrates two different readout mechanisms into a single-molecule construct that can achieve target detection across an extraordinarily broad dynamic range. Our dual-mode readout DNA biosensor combines an aptamer and a DNAzyme to quantify adenosine triphosphate (ATP) with two different mechanisms, which respond to low (micromolar) and high (millimolar) concentrations by generating distinct readouts based on changes in fluorescence and absorbance, respectively. Importantly, we have also devised regulatory strategies to fine-tune the target detection range of each sensor module by controlling the target-sensitivity of each readout mechanism. Using this strategy, we report the detection of ATP at a dynamic range spanning 1–500 000 μM, more than 5 orders of magnitude, representing the largest dynamic range reported to date with a single biosensor construct.