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ACS Nano ; 17(8): 7250-7256, 2023 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305453


Conventional nucleic acid detection technologies usually rely on amplification to improve sensitivity, which has drawbacks, such as amplification bias, complicated operation, high requirements for complex instruments, and aerosol pollution. To address these concerns, we developed an integrated assay for the enrichment and single molecule digital detection of nucleic acid based on a CRISPR/Cas13a and microwell array. In our design, magnetic beads capture and concentrate the target from a large volume of sample, which is 100 times larger than reported earlier. The target-induced CRISPR/Cas13a cutting reaction was then dispersed and limited to a million individual femtoliter-sized microwells, thereby enhancing the local signal intensity to achieve single-molecule detection. The limit of this assay for amplification-free detection of SARS-CoV-2 is 2 aM. The implementation of this study will establish a "sample-in-answer-out" single-RNA detection technology without amplification and improve the sensitivity and specificity while shortening the detection time. This research has broad prospects in clinical application.

COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , Humans , RNA , CRISPR-Cas Systems , SARS-CoV-2 , RNA, Viral , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
Trends Analyt Chem ; 158: 116871, 2023 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2242700


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has extensively promoted the application of nucleic acid testing technology in the field of clinical testing. The most widely used polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based nucleic acid testing technology has problems such as complex operation, high requirements of personnel and laboratories, and contamination. The highly miniaturized microfluidic chip provides an essential tool for integrating the complex nucleic acid detection process. Various microfluidic chips have been developed for the rapid detection of nucleic acid, such as amplification-free microfluidics in combination with clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR). In this review, we first summarized the routine process of nucleic acid testing, including sample processing and nucleic acid detection. Then the typical microfluidic chip technologies and new research advances are summarized. We also discuss the main problems of nucleic acid detection and the future developing trend of the microfluidic chip.

Talanta ; 236: 122847, 2022 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401881


Nucleocapsid protein (N protein) is the most abundant protein in SARS-CoV2 and is highly conserved, and there are no homologous proteins in the human body, making it an ideal biomarker for the early diagnosis of SARS-CoV2. However, early detection of clinical specimens for SARS-CoV2 remains a challenge due to false-negative results with viral RNA and host antibodies based testing. In this manuscript, a microfluidic chip with femtoliter-sized wells was fabricated for the sensitive digital detection of N protein. Briefly, ß-galactosidase (ß-Gal)-linked antibody/N protein/aptamer immunocomplexes were formed on magnetic beads (MBs). Afterwards, the MBs and ß-Gal substrate fluorescein-di-ß-d-galactopyranoside (FDG) were injected into the chip together. Each well of the chip would only hold one MB as confined by the diameter of the wells. The MBs in the wells were sealed by fluorocarbon oil, which confines the fluorescent (FL) product generated from the reaction between ß-Gal and FDG in the individual femtoliter-sized well and creates a locally high concentration of the FL product. The FL images of the wells were acquired using a conventional inverted FL microscope. The number of FL wells with MBs (FL wells number) and the number of wells with MBs (MBs wells number) were counted, respectively. The percentage of FL wells was calculated by dividing (FL wells number) by (MBs wells number). The higher the percentage of FL wells, the higher the N protein concentration. The detection limit of this digital method for N protein was 33.28 pg/mL, which was 300 times lower than traditional double-antibody sandwich based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Immunoassay/methods , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , RNA, Viral