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In this investigation, we show that RNA can be separated from a solution containing DNA and RNA and the isolated RNA can be detected using poly (N-isopropylacrylamide-co-N-(3-aminopropyl) methacrylamide hydrochloride) microgel-based optical devices (etalons). The isolation of RNA was accomplished by using hairpin-functionalized magnetic beads (MMPDNA) and differential melting, based on the fact that the DNA–RNA hybrid duplex is stronger (i.e., high melting temperature) than the DNA–DNA duplex (i.e., low melting temperature). By performing concurrent etalon sensing and fluorescent studies, we found that the MMPDNA combined with differential melting was capable of selectively separating RNA from DNA. This selective separation and simple colorimetric detection of RNA from a mixture will help lead to future RNA-based disease diagnostic devices.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Canadian Journal of Chemistry, volume 96, issue 12, in 2018 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


NRC Research Press



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