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    Electronic biosensors for DNA detection typically utilize immobilized oligonucleotide probes on a signal transducer, which outputs an electronic signal when target molecules bind to probes. However, limitation in probe selectivity and variable levels of non-target material in complex biological samples can lead to nonspecific binding and reduced sensitivity. Here we introduce the integration of 2.8 μm paramagnetic beads with DNA fragments. We apply a custom-made microfluidic chip to detect DNA molecules bound to beads by measuring Impedance Peak Response (IPR) at multiple frequencies. Technical and analytical performance was evaluated using beads containing purified Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) products of different lengths (157, 300, 613 bp) with DNA concentration ranging from 0.039 amol to 7.8 fmol. Multi-frequency IPR correlated positively with DNA amounts and was used to calculate a DNA quantification score. The minimum DNA amount of a 300 bp fragment coupled on beads that could be robustly detected was 0.0039 fmol (1.54 fg or 4750 copies/bead). Additionally, our approach allowed distinguishing beads with similar molar concentration DNA fragments of different lengths. Using this impedance sensor, purified PCR products could be analyzed within ten minutes to determine DNA fragment length and quantity based on comparison to a known DNA standard.


    Jianye Sui, Neeru Gandotra, Pengfei Xie, Zhongtian Lin, Curt Scharfe, Mehdi Javanmard. Multi-frequency impedance sensing for detection and sizing of DNA fragments. Scientific reports. 2021 Mar 22;11(1):6490

    PMID: 33753781

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