DNA circuits have proven to be useful amplifiers for diagnostic applications, in part because of their modularity and programmability. In order to determine whether different circuits could be modularly stacked, we used a catalytic hairpin assembly (CHA) circuit to initiate a hybridization chain reaction (HCR) circuit. In response to an input nucleic acid sequence, the CHA reaction accumulates immobilized duplexes and HCR elongates these duplexes. With fluorescein as a reporter each of these processes yielded 10-fold signal amplification in a convenient 96-well format. The modular circuit connections also allowed the output reporter to be readily modified to a G-quadruplex-DNAzyme that yielded a fluorescent signal.
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