SERS gene probe for DNA diagnostics
We describe the development of a surface-enhanced Raman scattering gene (SERGen) probe technology for rapid screening for diseases and pathogens through DNA hybridization assays. The technology combines the use of gene probes labeled with SERS-active markers, and nanostructured metallic platforms for inducing the SERS effect. As a result, SERGen-based methods can offer the spectral selectivity and sensitivity of SERS as well as the molecular specificity of DNA sequence hybridization. Furthermore, these new probe s preclude the use of radioactive labels. As illustrated herein, SERGen probes have been used as primers in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplifications of specific DNA sequences, hence further boosting the sensitivity of the technology. We also describe several approaches to developing SERS-active DNA assay platforms, addressing the challenges of making the SERGen technology accessible and practical for clinical settings. The usefulness of the SERGen approach has been demonstrated in the detection of HIV, BRCA1 breast cancer, and BAX genes. There is great potential for the use of numerous SERGen probes for multiplexed detection of multiple biological targets.
Stokes, DL; Allain, LR; Isola, N; Vo-Dinh, T
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