In this work, by incorporating a specific DNAzyme sequence into a hairpin aptamer probe, we describe a label-free and sensitive method for electrochemical detection of cytokines using recombinant human IFN-gamma as the model analyte. The hairpin aptamer probes are immobilized on a gold electrode through self-assembly. The presence of IFN-gamma opens the hairpin structure and forms the hemin/G-quadruplex peroxidase-mimicking DNAzyme with subsequent addition of hemin. The peroxidase-mimicking DNAzyme catalyzes the electro-reduction of H(2)O(2) and amplifies the current response for IFN-gamma detection, which enables the monitoring of IFN-gamma at the sub-nanomolar level. The proposed sensor also shows high selectivity towards the target analyte. Our strategy thus opens new opportunities for label-free and amplified detection of different types of cytokines.
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