Over the last 10 years, fluorescent semiconductor QD (quantum dot)–biomolecule conjugates have emerged as a powerful new sensing platform showing great potential in a wide range of applications in biosensing, environmental monitoring and disease diagnosis. The present mini-review is a brief account of the recent developments in QD–NA (nucleic acid), particularly NA aptamer, conjugate-based biosensors using the FRET (Förster resonance energy transfer) readout mechanism. It starts with a brief introduction to the NA aptamer and QD-FRET, followed by example approaches to compact QD–DNA conjugates, target readout strategies and sensing performance, and concludes with challenges and outlook for the QD–NA/aptamer bioconjugate sensors.

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