Nucleic acid-based molecular diagnostics at the point-of-care (POC) and in resource-limited settings is still a challenge. We present a sensitive yet simple DNA detection method with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) identification capability. The detection scheme involves sandwich hybridization of magnetic beads conjugated with capture probes, target sequences, and ultrabright surface-enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) nanorattles conjugated with reporter probes. Upon hybridization, the sandwich probes are concentrated at the detection focus controlled by a magnetic system for SERS measurements. The ultrabright SERS nanorattles, consisting of a core and a shell with resonance Raman reporters loaded in the gap space between the core and the shell, serve as SERS tags for ultrasensitive signal detection. Specific DNA sequences of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and dengue virus 1 (DENV1) were used as the model marker system. Detection limit of approximately 100 attomoles was achieved. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discrimination of wild type malaria DNA and mutant malaria DNA, which confers resistance to artemisinin drugs, was also demonstrated. The results demonstrate the molecular diagnostic potential of the nanorattle-based method to both detect and genotype infectious pathogens. The method's simplicity makes it a suitable candidate for molecular diagnosis at the POC and in resource-limited settings.
Hoan T. Ngo, Naveen Gandra, Andrew M. Fales, Steve M. Taylor, and Tuan Vo-Dinh, "DNA detection and single nucleotide mutation identification using SERS for molecular diagnostics and global health," Proc. SPIE 10054, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic and Surgical Guidance Systems XV, 100540C (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 14 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2268779.
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