Nano-based DNA detection

February 24, 2002 | Source: KurzweilAI

Microelectrodes and gold nanoparticle probes are being used to create lower-cost, faster and more accurate DNA detection.Northwestern University scientists used a synthetic sequence of DNA that models the anthrax lethal factor to test a technology that could displace polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and conventional fluorescence probes in clinical diagnostics and make point-of-care DNA testing possible in the doctor’s office and on the battlefield.

A simple electrical signal indicates that target DNA has been detected. Hundreds of pathogenic agents could be monitored simultaneously.

Results will be published in the Feb. 22 issue of the journal Science. The new DNA detection method eliminates the expensive and the current necessary step of heating the gene chip and also improves upon optical detection methods reported previously by Northwestern in Science.