Heeger, Plaxco & Petroff - Electrochemical DNA Sequence Detection: Improvement of Sensitivity
We are developing a rapid, reagentless, hand-held technology for the electronic detection of DNA, proteins and small molecules. Our first generation sensor achieved picomolar sensitivity (parts per trillion) against DNA targets and works even in complex, contaminant-ridden samples such as blood serum and soil. Under the auspices of the ICB we have improved the sensor?s detection limit a thousand fold and are well on our way to the detection limits required for direct detection of unamplified pathogen DNA. We have also generalized the approach to the detection of proteins (diagnostic of pathogens or disease) and small molecules (such as drugs) directly in blood serum and other complex, contaminant-ridden samples. On-the-fly detection of specific DNA sequences, proteins and small molecules would revolutionize BW and CW agent detection, as well as, the detection of clinical pathogens and genetic markers of significant interest to the military and civil defense communities.