by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted June 23, 2007 in DNA Inventions and Gadgets, DNA Lab Talk, DNA Testing
A biotech company in Illinois is hoping they have the Midas touch. Nanosphere has created DNA probes made of gold nanoparticles. The Verigene System is meant to “make molecular diagnostic testing simple, accessible, and flexible, but still provide the high sensitivity, accuracy, and rapid multiplex target detection required by these applications.” The benchtop system is currently under FDA review and incoporates the Verigene Reader, Verigene Processor, and Verigene Test Cartridges. Each analysis costs about $30 and takes 90 minutes to complete compared with other commercial tests which run up to $500 and require several weeks from start to finish.
The analysis of DNA or RNA targets follows this procedure:
1. Genomic DNA is loaded into a single-use “Test Cartridge.” Sonication shears the genomic DNA into 300 to 500 base-pair fragments so that they’re small enough to be probed.
2. The genomic DNA fragments hybridize (stick) to capture probes that are attached to a solid support base. Then, gold nanoparticles with oligonucleotide probes attached are added.
3. The entire complex is washed and gold nanoparticle probes that did not find a complementary genomic DNA fragment are removed.
4. Elemental silver is deposited onto the gold nanoparticle probes which hybridized to a complementary DNA fragment. This amplifies the signal.
A video is also available for viewing.
According to Nanosphere CEO Bill Moffitt, approximately 35 million tests can be performed using the same amount of gold as the average wedding band. Nanosphere technology can be used in genetic diagnostics, pharmacogenetics, infectious diseases, and oncology.
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