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Issue 19, 2016
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A nucleic acid strand displacement system for the multiplexed detection of tuberculosis-specific mRNA using quantum dots

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Abstract

The development of rapid, robust and high performance point-of-care diagnostics relies on the advancement and combination of various areas of research. We have developed an assay for the detection of multiple mRNA molecules that combines DNA nanotechnology with fluorescent nanomaterials. The core switching mechanism is toehold-mediated strand displacement. We have used fluorescent quantum dots (QDs) as signal transducers in this assay, as they bring many benefits including bright fluorescence and multiplexing abilities. The resulting assay is capable of multiplexed detection of long RNA targets against a high concentration of background non-target RNA, with high sensitivity and specificity and limits of detection in the nanomolar range using only a standard laboratory plate reader. We demonstrate the utility of our QD-based system for the detection of two genes selected from a microarray-derived tuberculosis-specific gene expression signature. Levels of up- and downregulated gene transcripts comprising this signature can be combined to give a disease risk score, making the signature more amenable for use as a diagnostic marker. Our QD-based approach to detect these transcripts could pave the way for novel diagnostic assays for tuberculosis.

Graphical abstract: A nucleic acid strand displacement system for the multiplexed detection of tuberculosis-specific mRNA using quantum dots

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jan 2016, accepted on 26 Feb 2016 and first published on 18 Apr 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR00484A
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Citation: Nanoscale, 2016,8, 10087-10095
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    A nucleic acid strand displacement system for the multiplexed detection of tuberculosis-specific mRNA using quantum dots

    H. D. Gliddon, P. D. Howes, M. Kaforou, M. Levin and M. M. Stevens, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 10087
    DOI: 10.1039/C6NR00484A

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