Colourimetric detection of DNA with high specificity for single-mismatch discrimination using morpholino/gold nanoparticle conjugates

Ref: B0003

Research Institutes: Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN)

Tech readiness: Concept

Intellectual Property: Patent - Pending

Category: Healthcare - Diagnostics

Author: Ben


A colourimetric and highly specific DNA detection method based on gold nanoparticles (NP) has been developed. The NP-bound nonionic morpholinos (MOs) were used as the probes. The stability of the Mo/NP conjugated changed substantially after DNA targets hydridized with the MOs. Upon addition of a moderate concentration of NaCl, the colour evolution of the conjugate solution was sensitive to the presence of the DNA targets. Melting transition of the DNA-MO/NP systems occurred within a narrow temperature range (~1oC), leading to distinct single-mismatch detection. This method showed selectivity greater than 200:1 for SNP discrimination in competitive hybridization assays.     

Our Innovation

Our technology is unique in its ability to detect Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). Not only is our tech able to detect the SNPs, it has a highlight specific level of discrimination for the SNPs. The tech utilizes colorimetric distinction within a narrow temperature range which results in this high specificity. 

Potential Applications

This technology is especially useful and primed for DNA/RNA detection, as well as SNP detection for clinical diagnosis and genome studies. These studies and diagnosis rely on high specificity and acuity of the instruments which this DNA detection method could be able to supply. Beyond genome studies, any work involving DNA detection would find this technique useful.   

Our Value Proposition

This technology could be used in an array of scenarios such as:

  • Homogenous assay avoids stringent washing steps and provides good reproducibility
  • Colorimetric readout reduces the assay cost
  • Sharp melting transition ensures unusually high selectivity for SNP
  • Discrimination

All the positives listed above make this technology very attractive for use related to wet lab work on a global scale.  

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