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Research Group

Environmental Molecule Recognition and Sensing Group

Group Leader: Zhao Qiang Laboratory: State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology

Environmental Molecule Recognition and Sensing Group 

  Dr. Qiang Zhao is a professor at Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences (RCEES), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He received Bachelor Degree in chemistry in 2000 and Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry in 2005 in College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering in Peking University. He did research as a postdoctoral fellow in University of Alberta in Canada from 2005 to 2009. He was a professor in Institute of Environmental Science at Shanxi University from 2009 to 2014. He joined State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology in RCEES in July of 2014. He published more than 30 papers in journals including Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Communications, Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, and etc.

Research interests: (1) Environmental molecule recognition and sensing; (2) Environmental analysis and bioanalytical chemistry.  

ContactE-mail: qiangzhao@rcees.ac.cn; Tel: 010-62849892 

Analysis and Sensing of Proteins and Small Molecules Using Nucleic Acid Aptamers 

Lihua Hao, Yingxiong Liu, Qiang Zhao* 

  Our group developed assays for proteins and small molecules by using nucleic acid aptamers as affinity ligands that specifically recognize target moleclues and by taking advantage of fluorescence analysis and other techniques. We labeled aptmaers for thrombin with fluorescein to construct a fluorescent switch for thrombin. The binding of thrombin to the aptamer probe caused fluorescence decrease of the aptamer probe, achieving detection of thrombin. By using tetramethylrhodamine labeled aptamer, we successfully developed a fluorescent probe for ATP with remarkable fluorescence anisotropy (FA) responses. We obtained aptamer probes showing FA-decreasing or FA-increasing response. The probes allowed analysis of ATP at μM levels. Rolling circle amplification (RCA) reaction extends the primer into a long DNA sequence by using a circular template and a polymerase. The generated DNA product contains numerous repeat units with complementary sequence of the template. By combining RCA and enzyme linked assay we developed an absorbance assay for platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB) using aptamers. These works is helpful for developing assays for biomolecules related with environment and health.

Analysis and sensing of thrombin and ATP based on fluorescent dye labeled nucleic acid aptamer

Group Leader: Prof. Qiang Zhao 




Yapiao Li  



Linlin Sun 



Yunlong Bai 

Ph.D. (Joint) 


Lihua Hao 

Master (Joint) 


Yingxiong Liu 

Master (Joint) 


Representative Publications: 

  1. Lihua Hao, Qiang Zhao*. A fluorescein labeled aptamer switch for thrombin with fluorescence decrease response, Analytical Methods, 2015.7:3888-3892. 

  2. Q. Zhao*, Q. Lv, H. Wang. Aptamer fluorescence anisotropy sensors for adenosine triphosphate by comprehensive screening tetramethylrhodamine labeled nucleotides. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 2015. 70:188-193. 

  3. Li Lv, Limin Guo, Q. Zhao*. Aptamer and rolling circle amplification-involved sandwich assay for platelet-derived growth factor-BB with absorbance analysis, Analytical Methods, 2015. 7: 1855-1859.


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Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, People’s Republic of China