Non-crosslinking (NCL) approaches using DNA-modified gold nanoparticles for molecular detection constitute powerful tools with potential implications in clinical diagnostics and tailored medicine. From detection of pathogenic agents to identification of specific point mutations associated with health conditions, these methods have shown remarkable versatility and simplicity. Herein, the NCL hybridization assay is broken down to the fundamentals behind its assembly and detection principle. Gold nanoparticle synthesis and derivatization is addressed, emphasizing optimal size homogeneity and conditions for maximum surface coverage, with direct implications in downstream detection. The detection principle is discussed and the advantages and drawbacks of different NCL approaches are discussed. Finally, NCL-based applications for molecular detection of clinically relevant loci and potential integration into more complex biosensing platforms, projecting miniaturization and portability are addressed.
- gold nanoparticles
- molecular diagnostics