Fifty Five Years of Nucleic Acid Electrochemistry
Institute of Biophysics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Brno, and Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, Brno
Electrochemistry of nucleic acid is at present a booming field producing about 800 papers published per year. First papers in this field were published in 19581961 in Brno (Czech Republic) showing that purine and pyrimidine base residues in single-stranded DNA and RNA were reduced at Hg electrodes and the guanine residue produced an anodic signal when cyclic modes were used. The reduction sites of the base residues in native double-stranded (ds) DNA are hidden in the interior of the dsDNA molecule, which made their reduction difficult. At that time oscillographic polarography (ac chronopotentiometry) showed excellent sensitivity to changes in DNA structure and allowed to investigate DNA denaturation and hybridization. Later on also other electrochemical methods and electrodes were applied. In the following three decades basic principles were found which are at present used in the development of DNA hybridization sensors.
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