A sensitive and selective optical DNA biosensor was developed for dengue virus detection based on novel square-planar piperidine side chain-functionalized N,N'-bis-4-(hydroxysalicylidene)-phenylenediamine-nickel(II), which was able to intercalate via nucleobase stacking within DNA and be functionalized as an optical DNA hybridization marker. 3-Aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTS)-modified porous silica nanospheres (PSiNs), was synthesized with a facile mini-emulsion method to act as a high capacity DNA carrier matrix. The Schiff base salphen complexes-labelled probe to target nucleic acid on the PSiNs renders a colour change of the DNA biosensor to a yellow background colour, which could be quantified via a reflectance transduction method. The reflectometric DNA biosensor demonstrated a wide linear response range to target DNA over the concentration range of 1.0 × 10-16-1.0 × 10-10 M (R² = 0.9879) with an ultralow limit of detection (LOD) at 0.2 aM. The optical DNA biosensor response was stable and maintainable at 92.8% of its initial response for up to seven days of storage duration with a response time of 90 min. The reflectance DNA biosensor obtained promising recovery values of close to 100% for the detection of spiked synthetic dengue virus serotypes 2 (DENV-2) DNA concentration in non-invasive human samples, indicating the high accuracy of the proposed DNA analytical method for early diagnosis of all potential infectious diseases or pathological genotypes.
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