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A simple linear sweep voltammetric method for the determination of double-stranded DNA with malachite green

W. Sun, J. Y. You, X. Hu, and K. Jiao

College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266042, P. R. China


E-mail: sunwei

Received: 4 October 2005  Revised: 21 March 2006  Accepted: 27 March 2006

Abstract: In pH 3.5 Britton—Robinson buffer solution double-stranded (ds) DNA can react with malachite green (MG) to form an interaction complex, which resulted in the decrease of the electrochemical response of MG, MG had a well-defined second-order derivative linear sweep voltammetric peak at −0.73 V (vs. SCE). After the addition of dsDNA into MG solution, the reductive peak current decreased with the positive shift of peak potential, which was the typical characteristic of intercalation. Based on the interaction, an indirect electrochemical determination method for dsDNA was established. The optimum conditions for the reaction were investigated and there were little or no interferences from the commonly coexisting substances. The decrease of peak current was linear with the concentration of dsDNA over the range of 0.8–12.0 µg cm−3 with the linear regression equation as ΔI p″/nA = 91.70 C/(µg cm−3) + 74.55 (n = 10, γ = 0.990). The detection limit was calculated as 0.46 µg cm−3 (3σ). The method had high sensitivity and was further applied to the dsDNA synthetic samples with satisfactory result. The interaction mechanism was discussed with the intercalation of DNA-MG to form a supramolecular complex and the stoichiometry of the supramolecular complex was calculated by electrochemical method with the binding number 3 and the binding constant 2.35 × 1015 (mol dm−3)−3.

Keywords: malachite green - determination of DNA - voltammetric method - supramolecular complex of DNA and MG

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-006-0035-7


Chemical Papers 60 (3) 192–197 (2006)

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