So far, although various diagnostic approaches for pathogen detection have been proposed, most are too expensive, lengthy or limited in specificity for clinical use. Nanoparticle systems with unique material properties, however, circumvent these problems and offer improved accuracy over current methods. Here, we present novel magneto-DNA probes capable of rapid and specific profiling of pathogens directly in clinical samples. A nanoparticle hybridization assay, involving ubiquitous and specific probes that target bacterial 16S rRNAs, was designed to detect amplified target DNAs using a miniaturized NMR device. Ultimately, the magneto-DNA platform will allow both universal and specific detection of various clinically relevant bacterial species, with sensitivity down to single bacteria. Furthermore, the assay is robust and rapid, simultaneously diagnosing a panel of 13 bacterial species in clinical specimens within 2 h. The generic platform described could be used to rapidly identify and phenotype pathogens for a variety of applications.
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The authors thank Y. Fisher-Jeffes for reviewing the manuscript, N. Sergeyev for synthesis of MNPs, S. Chen and M. Mckee for help with electron microscopy, C. Min for help with the µNMR device, and J. Chung, K.S. Yang, J. Carlson, H. Shao and A.V. Ullal for assistance and many helpful discussions. The work was funded in part by National Institute of Health (grants R01EB004626, R01EB010011, HHSN268201000044C and R01HL113156).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Chung, H., Castro, C., Im, H. et al. A magneto-DNA nanoparticle system for rapid detection and phenotyping of bacteria. Nature Nanotech 8, 369–375 (2013) doi:10.1038/nnano.2013.70
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