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New miniaturised chip dramatically reduces time taken for DNA analysis

>This type of analysis already takes place in laboratories, but until now the experimental measures needed were not suitable for in situ analysis. By using the new sensors developed by UAB scientists, the time taken to identify the source of infection for Legionella would decrease from two days, as is currently the case using organic production techniques, to just thirty minutes. In trials developed with the support of the UAB's Department of Genetics and Microbiology, the new sensors have enabled Salmonella to be identified in four and a half hours, compared to three to five days using the traditional microbiological methods. This method for identifying bacteria could also be used to detect other infectious agents such as Campylobacter and Listeria, and the sensor could easily be adapted for use in medicine, environmental monitoring and the industrial sector.

Other important applications for DNA sensors include: detecting genetically modified organisms in food, either in basic ingredients or in prepared food; identifying people, either to establish blood relations or to find criminal evidence; and testing the toxicity of different drugs to establish what damage they may cause to the DNA molecule of disease-causing microorganisms and of cells in patients.

"The next step is to mass-produce the sensors", states Salvador Alegret, the director of research. "Mass production will allow costs to be reduced and the product to become as widely available as pregnancy test kits we can buy at the local pharmacy".

Electrochemical genosensors vs DNA chips

Identifying DNA chains has become increasingly important in biochemistry, medicine and biotechnology. But traditional DNA-analysis techniques are becoming outdated as demand increases for more genetic information to be found in less time and at a lower cost. An important step forward in this direction was the creation of DNA chips, in which the UAB played a leading role in Catalonia. Hundreds, or
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Source:Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona


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Antibodies were affinity purified using epitopes specific to PPP1CC immobilized on solid support....
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