Friday, October 7, 2022

DNA nets seize COVID-19 virus in low-cost rapid-testing platform

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Tiny nets woven from DNA strands cowl the spike proteins of the virus that causes COVID-19 and provides off a glowing sign on this artist’s rendering. Credit: Xing Wang, University of Illinois

Tiny nets woven from DNA strands can ensnare the spike protein of the virus that causes COVID-19, lighting up the virus for a fast-yet-sensitive diagnostic take a look at—and in addition impeding the virus from infecting cells, opening a brand new doable path to antiviral remedy, in keeping with a brand new examine.

Researchers on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators demonstrated the DNA nets’ skill to detect and impede COVID-19 in human cell cultures in a paper printed within the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

“This platform combines the sensitivity of PCR and the speed and low cost of antigen tests,” mentioned examine chief Xing Wang, a professor of bioengineering and of chemistry at Illinois. “We need tests like this for a couple of reasons. One is to prepare for the next pandemic. The other reason is to track ongoing viral epidemics—not only coronaviruses, but also other deadly and economically impactful viruses like HIV or influenza.”

DNA is finest recognized for its genetic properties, however it additionally will be folded into customized nanoscale buildings that may carry out features or particularly bind to different buildings very like proteins do. The DNA nets the Illinois group developed have been designed to bind to the coronavirus spike protein—the construction that stands out from the floor of the virus and binds to receptors on human cells to contaminate them. Once sure, the nets give off a fluorescent sign that may be learn by a reasonable handheld gadget in about 10 minutes.

The researchers demonstrated that their DNA nets successfully focused the spike protein and have been capable of detect the virus at very low ranges, equal to the sensitivity of gold-standard PCR exams that may take a day or extra to return outcomes from a scientific lab.

The approach holds a number of benefits, Wang mentioned. It doesn’t want any particular preparation or tools, and will be carried out at room temperature, so all a consumer would do is combine the pattern with the answer and skim it. The researchers estimated of their examine that the strategy would value $1.26 per take a look at.

“Another advantage of this measure is that we can detect the entire virus, which is still infectious, and distinguish it from fragments that may not be infectious anymore,” Wang mentioned. This not solely provides sufferers and physicians higher understanding of whether or not they’re infectious, however it may drastically enhance community-level modeling and monitoring of energetic outbreaks, resembling by wastewater.

In addition, the DNA nets inhibited the virus’s unfold in reside cell cultures, with the antiviral exercise rising with the scale of the DNA web scaffold. This factors to DNA buildings’ potential as therapeutic brokers, Wang mentioned.

“I had this idea at the very beginning of the pandemic to build a platform for testing, but also for inhibition at the same time,” Wang mentioned. “Lots of other groups working on inhibitors are trying to wrap up the entire virus, or the parts of the virus that provide access to antibodies. This is not good, because you want the body to form antibodies. With the hollow DNA net structures, antibodies can still access the virus.”

The DNA web platform will be tailored to different viruses, Wang mentioned, and even multiplexed so {that a} single take a look at may detect a number of viruses.

“We’re trying to develop a unified technology that can be used as a plug-and-play platform. We want to take advantage of DNA sensors’ high binding affinity, low limit of detection, low cost and rapid preparation,” Wang mentioned.

The paper is titled “Net-shaped DNA nanostructures designed for rapid/sensitive detection and potential inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

Video: Researcher discusses drug resistance in COVID-19

More data:
Neha Chauhan et al, Net-Shaped DNA Nanostructures Designed for Rapid/Sensitive Detection and Potential Inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2022). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c04835

Provided by
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

DNA nets seize COVID-19 virus in low-cost rapid-testing platform (2022, September 23)
retrieved 23 September 2022

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