The electroactivity of DNA was discovered in 1958 by Emil Palecek. Since then a great progress and development have been done in electrochemistry of nucleic acids at various electrodes. In this review, after brief overview of milestones in research in electrochemistry, a history of electroanalysis of DNA follows. Then, the attention is paid to various electrochemical methods using a mercury electrode as a working one including linear sweep and cyclic polarography/voltammetry (elimination polarography/voltammetry), differential pulse polarography/voltammetry, square wave polarography/voltammetry, AC polarography/voltammetry and chronopotentiometry for analysis of DNA. Coupling of adsorptive transfer stripping technique to the above-mentioned methods is very promising for nucleic acid studying and is discussed. Further, advantages of mercury and amalgam electrodes are mentioned. The advantages of coupling of DNA electroanalysis at mercury electrodes with paramagnetic particles based isolation of target molecules are shown.
Keywords: DNA, mercury electrode, DNA hybridization, nucleic acid, reduction of nucleobases, genosensors, biosensors, nanomaterials, magnetic beads, nanotechnology, automation
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