Rapid and highly sensitive detection of biomolecules is greatly needed for pathogen diagnosis in clinical samples, but the method needs to be significantly improved in terms of sensitivity and specificity for actual use in clinical settings. Here, we report the development of an improved molecular diagnostics tool that utilizes CRISPR/dCas9-mediated biosensor that couples a nuclease inactivated Cas9 (dCas9) and single microring resonator biosensor, enables label-free and real-time detection of pathogenic DNA and RNA. We addressed the clinical utility of this CRISPR/dCas9-mediated biosensor in tick-borne illnesses including scrub typhus (ST) and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS), whose clinical presentations are too similar to be easily differentiated. By using CRISPR/dCas9-mediated biosensor, we achieved single molecule sensitivity for the detection of ST (0.54 aM) and SFTS (0.63 aM); this detection sensitivity is 100 times more sensitive than that of RT-PCR assay. Finally, CRISPR/dCas9-mediated biosensor was able to clearly distinguish between ST and SFTS in serum samples within 20 min. We believe that CRISPR/dCas9-mediated biosensor will be useful for rapid and accurate molecular diagnostic tool that is suitable for immediate clinical applications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) and the Ministry of Education through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) ( 2017R1A2B4005288 , 2016R1D1A1A02937096 ).
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry