Snap-On Fluorescent Probes

A chemical reaction scheme showing a reaction between a chemical handle located within a DNA strand and a label reagent to form one of a library of fluorescent labels within the DNA strand.


  • Allows a single DNA sequence containing a chemical "handle" to be modified to attach one of a library of fluorescent labels to the DNA.
  • Adaptable to other polymer backbones (RNA, protein, synthetic polymers, etc.)
  • Fluorescent labels cover the visible region into the near-IR, with high absorbance and good quantum yield.

Applications and Advantages

  • A single master sample of DNA can be modified to contain one of the library of fluorescent labels without the need to optimize any new synthesis reactions.
  • Allows tuning of fluorescent dyes to specific wavelengths, e.g. for confocal microscopy.
  • Fluorescent labels can report on aptamer binding, protein binding, DNA hybridization, polymer crosslinking, etc. via FRET, donor-quencher interactions, or other means.
  • Avoids failure risk of adapting an existing polymer-based research tool to a new fluorescent labelling reaction.
  • Only the handle is present during polymer synthesis, allowing post-synthetic attachment of fluorescent labels that would otherwise be incompatible with polymer synthesis conditions.


Provisional utility patent application pending in the US.

Seeking licensee(s).


Michael Fowler,, 519-824-4120 x53808