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    Massive DNA testing requires novel technologies to support a sustainable health system. In recent years, DNA superstructures have emerged as alternative probes and transducers. We, herein, report a multiplexed and highly sensitive approach based on an allele-specific hybridization chain reaction (AS-HCR) in the array format to detect single-nucleotide variants. Fast isothermal amplification was developed before activating the HCR process on a chip to work with genomic DNA. The assay principle was demonstrated, and the variables for integrating the AS-HCR process and smartphone-based detection were also studied. The results were compared to a conventional polymerase reaction chain (PCR)-based test. The developed multiplex method enabled higher selectivity against single-base mismatch sequences at concentrations as low as 103 copies with a limit of detection of 0.7% of the mutant DNA percentage and good reproducibility (relative error: 5% for intra-assay and 17% for interassay). As proof of concept, the AS-HCR method was applied to clinical samples, including human cell cultures and biopsied tissues of cancer patients. Accurate identification of single-nucleotide mutations in KRAS and NRAS genes was validated, considering those obtained from the reference sequencing method. To conclude, AS-HCR is a rapid, simple, accurate, and cost-effective isothermal method that detects clinically relevant genetic variants and has a high potential for point-of-care demands.


    Ana Lázaro, Ángel Maquieira, Luis A Tortajada-Genaro. Discrimination of Single-Nucleotide Variants Based on an Allele-Specific Hybridization Chain Reaction and Smartphone Detection. ACS sensors. 2022 Mar 25;7(3):758-765

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    PMID: 35188365

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