BBS Seminar Series - Leyla Soleymani - Integrating functional nucleic acids with electrochemistry for high performance biosensing


Start 5 October, 2021, 11 30 AM

End 12 30 PM

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Tracy Stojanovic


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Biosensors combine signal transduction and bio-recognition elements for analyzing biologically-relevant targets. To realize the full potential of biosensors in disease management and health monitoring, their performance in terms of limit-of-detection, repeatability, specificity, and response time needs to be enhanced. To exploit these sensing systems at the point-of-need, additional requirements such as portability, ease-of-use, and low cost operation become critical. Here, we focus on developing new electrochemical transducers and combining these with dynamic biorecognition elements for enhancing the performance metrics of biosensors.

Our focus has been on developing chip/reader systems, similar in usability to glucose monitors, for the analysis of biomarkers such as nucleic acids and proteins. For this purpose, we have developed new nucleic acid-based biorecognition systems for capturing the target analyte of interest and translating this capture to an electrochemical signal. Toward this goal, we have developed electroactive DNA/protein assemblies and functional nucleic acids for dynamic bio barcode-based biosensing. The approach based on DNA/protein assemblies has been used to analyze the prostate specific antigen directly in undiluted human plasma with a clinically-relevant limit-of-detection. The functional nucleic acid assay uses RNA-cleaving DNAzymes to identify specific bacterial species and cleave a DNA barcode from the original DNAzyme, which is then captured to generate an electrochemical signal. This system has been used in identifying E. coli from laboratory and clinical samples without the need for bacterial growth cultures or the addition of reagents with a limit-of-detection of 1000 CFU/mL in urine.

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