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Final Progress Reports: University of California-Davis: Development of Rapid, Miniaturized Biosensors

Superfund Research Program

Development of Rapid, Miniaturized Biosensors

Project Leader: Ian M. Kennedy
Grant Number: P42ES004699
Funding Period: 2000-2015
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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2014  2009  2004 

The effectiveness of Ian Kennedy, Ph.D., and his research team's photonic crystal platform for bio-sensing was demonstrated on DNA samples. A synthetic sequence that corresponded to the hepatitis B virus was examined and could be detected with a limit of detection in the attomolar range as usual. The platform did not respond to a single base mismatch in the sequence – exhibiting excellent specificity. The researchers' system could be applied to the detection of human pathogens and to freely circulating tumor DNA. In addition, the researchers have explored the application of a FRET-based assay, demonstrated on the simple rabbit IgG molecule. The FRET donor-acceptor pair of fluorescent molecules were isolated specifically within the nano wells of the photonic crystal where they experience the enhanced electromagnetic field created by the photonic effect. The researchers found that the assay on the photonic crystal resulted in significantly enhanced performance compared to a commercial high-quality plate reader instrument. The limit of detection using the same reagents in the plate reader was about 1 μg/mL; on the photonic crystal, the researchers could obtain 10x lower limit of detection within just one minute of incubation. After 20 minutes of incubation, they were able to obtain a limit of detection 1000 times better than the plate reader instrument. The technology that the researchers have developed promises to offer a universal platform for the rapid, sensitive detection of viral particles, DNA and proteins.

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