Ho, N.R.Y., Lim, G.S., Sundah, N.R. et al. Visual and modular detection of pathogen nucleic acids with enzyme–DNA molecular complexes. Nat Commun 9, 3238 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05733-0
Rapid, visual detection of pathogen nucleic acids has broad applications in infection management. Here we present a modular detection platform, termed enzyme-assisted nanocomplexes for visual identification of nucleic acids (enVision). The system consists of an integrated circuit of enzyme–DNA nanostructures, which function as independent recognition and signaling elements, for direct and versatile detection of pathogen nucleic acids from infected cells. The built-in enzymatic cascades produce a rapid color readout for the naked eye; the assay is thus fast (<2 h), sensitive (<10 amol), and readily quantified with smartphones. When implemented on a configurable microfluidic platform, the technology demonstrates superior programmability to perform versatile computations, for detecting diverse pathogen targets and their virus–host genome integration loci. We further design the enVision platform for molecular-typing of infections in patient endocervical samples. The technology not only improves the clinical inter-subtype differentiation, but also expands the intra-subtype coverage to identify previously undetectable infections.
This work was supported in part by funding from MOE (R-722-000-005-133), NMRC (NMRC/TCR/016-NNI/2016), A*STAR IMCB Independent Fellowship and NUS Early Career Research Award.