DNA Origami and Protein Arrays for Digital Diagnostics


With its modularity, spatial addressability and ability to organize various molecules of interest, DNA origami based nanofabricated arrays have the potential to revolutionize rapid, point-of-care diagnostics. However, the high costs and fabrication complexities associated with creating these arrays make it an impractical approach to academicians and researchers in this space. Utilizing simple self-assembly techniques for programmed DNA origami immobilization could enable the development of quantitative platforms for disease-detection and other relevant biophysical studies, all on a basic laboratory benchtop.


Researchers at the Biodesign Institute of Arizona State University in collaboration with colleagues at the California Institute of Technology have developed a new platform for rapid, quantitative point-of-care bio-molecular detection using functionalized DNA origami arrays. This platform utilizes benchtop compatible self-assembly techniques, which overcome cost and fabrication limitations, to create high density ordered DNA origami arrays for single molecule positioning. Probes extending off the DNA origami enable precise targeting to any analyte of interest as well as biomolecule quantification at ultra-low concentrations. Fluorescent molecules are incorporated into the system that, upon triggering, lead to an amplification reaction and allow for straightforward counting of molecules across the surface.


This self-assembled, planar chip provides an easy, rapid and modular point-of-care platform that is a powerful research and diagnostics tool in both academic and clinical settings.


Potential Applications

• Disease-related biomarker/analyte detection and quantification

o Can detect nucleic acids, proteins, analytes, small molecules, etc.

• Pathogen detection

• Health status monitoring

• Scalable bottom-up fabrication approach of zero mode waveguides for single-molecule biophysical analyses


Benefits and Advantages

• Enables digital counting of binding events instead of a qualitative “analog” output for higher sensitivity

• None of the fabrication steps are stochastic or limited by Poisson statistics

• Simple and easily accessible (cleanroom-free) modified lithography

• Allows for rapid, point-of-care biomolecular quantification in situ

• Self-assembly approach lowers the cost of manufacturing

• Increased efficiency, by a factor of >2

• Conducive to multiplexing

• Requires only basic fluorescence microscope setups for optical resolution of signals

• Any molecule/ligand can be incorporated into the chip in a programmable, accessible and addressable fashion:

o Small molecules, proteins, nucleic acids, aptamers, etc.



For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see
Dr. Hariadi’s departmental webpage