Fluorescence for biological logic gates

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29 Scopus citations


Biological logic gates are smart probes able to respond to biological conditions in behaviors similar to computer logic gates, and they pose a promising challenge for modern medicine. Researchers are creating many kinds of smart nanostructures that can respond to various biological parameters such as pH, ion presence, and enzyme activity. Each of these conditions alone might be interesting in a biological sense, but their interactions are what define specific disease conditions. Researchers over the past few decades have developed a plethora of stimuli-responsive nanodevices, from activatable fluorescent probes to DNA origami nanomachines, many explicitly defining logic operations. Whereas many smart configurations have been explored, in this review we focus on logic operations actuated through fluorescent signals. We discuss the applicability of fluorescence as a means of logic gate implementation, and consider the use of both fluorescence intensity as well as fluorescence lifetime.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202000158
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • FLIM
  • biological logic gates
  • fluorescence
  • molecular logic gates
  • reactive probes
  • smart probes


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