Direct Detection of Unamplified Pathogen RNA in Blood Lysate using an Integrated Lab-in-a-Stick Device and Ultrabright SERS Nanorattles.
Direct detection of genetic biomarkers in body fluid lysate without target amplification will revolutionize nucleic acid-based diagnostics. However, the low concentration of target sequences makes this goal challenging. We report a method for direct detection of pathogen RNA in blood lysate using a bioassay using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS)-based detection integrated in a "lab-in-a-stick" portable device. Two levels of signal enhancement were employed to achieve the sensitivity required for direct detection. Each target sequence was tagged with an ultrabright SERS-encoded nanorattle with ultrahigh SERS signals, and these tagged target sequences were concentrated into a focused spot for detection using hybridization sandwiches with magnetic microbeads. Furthermore, the washing process was automated by integration into a "lab-in-a-stick" portable device. We could directly detect synthetic target with a limit of detection of 200 fM. More importantly, we detected plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite RNA directly in infected red blood cells lysate. To our knowledge, this is the first report of SERS-based direct detection of pathogen nucleic acid in blood lysate without nucleic acid extraction or target amplification. The results show the potential of our integrated bioassay for field use and point-of-care diagnostics.
Ngo, HT; Freedman, E; Odion, RA; Strobbia, P; De Silva Indrasekara, AS; Vohra, P; Taylor, SM; Vo-Dinh, T
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