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"The innovation is to bring the two together as a capture mechanism. Our system does not use amplification; instead, it relies on CRISPR's genome-searching capability and graphene's sensitivity," explains Aran, who led the multi-university research team responsible for the work described in the paper "CRISPR-Chip: A CRISPR-based Graphene-enhanced Field Effect Biosensor for Electronic Detection of Unamplified Target Genes," to be published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on March 25.
Aran's novel system immobilizes the CRISPR complexes on the surface of graphene-based transistors. These complexes search a genome to find their target sequence and, if the search is successful, bind to its DNA. This binding changes the conductivity of the graphene material in the transistor, which detects the change using a handheld reader developed by Aran's industry partner, San Diego-based Cardea Bio.
Kiana - Application - One - Potential - Graphene
"What Kiana does is an application we hadn't thought about before -- that no one thought about before. It shows the potential of a graphene biosensor that no one knew was even possible," says Brett Goldsmith, Cardea's chief technology officer and cofounder. "To detect DNA without amplification is so shocking, so futuristic. This will skip several generations of technology development."
Aran and her research colleagues demonstrated the system's effectiveness by testing for the digital detection of DNA mutations in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder that results in progressive muscle degeneration and shortened life expectancy.
System - Mutation - System - Infections - Aran
"We have shown that our system is sufficient for genetic mutation testing. Now we need to enhance the system to detect infections," says Aran. "We're...
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