We present an electrical sensor that uses rolling circle amplification (RCA) of DNA to stretch across the gap between two electrodes, interact with metal nanoparticle seeds to generate an electrically conductive nanowire, and produce electrical signals upon detection of specific target DNA sequences. RCA is a highly specific molecular detection mechanism based on DNA probe circularization. With this technique, long single-stranded DNA with simple repetitive sequences are produced. Here we show that stretched RCA products can be metalized using silver or gold solutions to form metal wires. Upon metallization, the resistance drops from T? to k? for silver and to ? for gold. Metallization is seeded by gold nanoparticles aligned along the single-stranded DNA product through hybridization of functionalized oligonucleotides. We show that combining RCA with electrical DNA detection produces results in readout with very high signal-to-noise ratio, an essential feature for sensitive and specific detection assays. Finally, we demonstrate detection of 10 ng of Escherichia coli genomic DNA using the sensor concept.
The sensitive detection and quantification of DNA targets in the food industry and in environmental and clinical settings are issues of utmost importance in ensuring contamination-free food, monitoring the environment, and battling disease. Selective probes coupled with powerful amplification techniques are therefore of major interest. In this study, we set out to create an integrated microchemical chip that benefits from microfluidic chip technology in terms of sensitivity and a strong detection methodology provided jointly by padlock probes and rolling circle amplification (RCA). Here, we have integrated padlock probes and RCA into a microchip. The chip uses solid phase capture in a microchannel to enable washing cycles and decrease analytical area, and employs on-bead RCA for single-molecule amplification and detection. We investigated the effects of reagent concentration and amount of padlock probes, and demonstrated the feasibility of detecting Salmonella.
The cost of developing new drugs is a major obstacle for pharmaceutical companies and academia with many drugs identified in the drug discovery process failing approval for clinical use due to lack of intended effect or because of severe side effects. Since the early 1990 s, high throughput screening of drug compounds has increased enormously in capacity but has not resulted in a higher success rate of the identified drugs. Thus, there is a need for methods that can identify biologically relevant compounds and more accurately predict in vivo effects early in the drug discovery process. To address this, we developed a proximity ligation-based assay for high content screening of drug effects on signaling pathways. As a proof of concept, we used the assay to screen through a library of previously identified kinase inhibitors, including six clinically used tyrosine kinase inhibitors, to identify compounds that inhibited the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor beta signaling pathway in stimulated primary human fibroblasts. Thirteen of the 80 compounds were identified as hits, and the dose responses of these compounds were measured. The assay exhibited a very high Z factor (0.71) and signal to noise ratio (11.7), demonstrating excellent ability to identify compounds interfering with the specific signaling event. A comparison with regular immunofluorescence detection of phosphorylated PDGF receptor demonstrated a far superior ability by the in situ proximity ligation assay to reveal inhibition of receptor phosphorylation. In addition, inhibitor-induced perturbation of protein-protein interactions of the PDGF signaling pathway could be quantified, further demonstrating the usefulness of the assay in drug discovery.
We present a new random array format together with a decoding scheme for targeted multiplex digital molecular analyses. DNA samples are analyzed using multiplex sets of padlock or selector probes that create circular DNA molecules upon target recognition. The circularized DNA molecules are amplified through rolling-circle amplification (RCA) to generate amplified single molecules (ASMs). A random array is generated by immobilizing all ASMs on a microscopy glass slide. The ASMs are identified and counted through serial hybridizations of small sets of tag probes, according to a combinatorial decoding scheme. We show that random array format permits at least 10 iterations of hybridization, imaging and dehybridization, a process required for the combinatorial decoding scheme. We further investigated the quantitative dynamic range and precision of the random array format. Finally, as a demonstration, the decoding scheme was applied for multiplex quantitative analysis of genomic loci in samples having verified copy-number variations. Of 31 analyzed loci, all but one were correctly identified and responded according to the known copy-number variations. The decoding strategy is generic in that the target can be any biomolecule which has been encoded into a DNA circle via a molecular probing reaction.
Detection and identification of pathogens in environmental samples for biosecurity applications are challenging due to the strict requirements on specificity, sensitivity and time. We have developed a concept for quick, specific and sensitive pathogen identification in environmental samples. Target identification is realized by padlock- and proximity probing, and reacted probes are amplified by RCA (rolling-circle amplification). The individual RCA products are labeled by fluorescence and enumerated by an instrument, developed for sensitive and rapid digital analysis. The concept is demonstrated by identification of simili biowarfare agents for bacteria (Escherichia coli and Pantoea agglomerans) and spores (Bacillus atrophaeus) released in field.
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