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Sci Rep. 2013;3:2033. doi: 10.1038/srep02033.

Acoustic detection of DNA conformation in genetic assays combined with PCR.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, FORTH, Vassilika Vouton, 70013 Heraklion, Greece.


Application of PCR to multiplexing assays is not trivial; it requires multiple fluorescent labels for amplicon detection and sophisticated software for data interpretation. Alternative PCR-free methods exploiting new concepts in nanotechnology exhibit high sensitivities but require multiple labeling and/or amplification steps. Here, we propose to simplify the problem of simultaneous analysis of multiple targets in genetic assays by detecting directly the conformation, rather than mass, of target amplicons produced in the same PCR reaction. The new methodology exploits acoustic wave devices which are shown to be able to characterize in a fully quantitative manner multiple double stranded DNAs of various lengths. The generic nature of the combined acoustic/PCR platform is shown using real samples and, specifically, during the detection of SNP genotyping in Anopheles gambiae and gene expression quantification in treated mice. The method possesses significant advantages to TaqMan assay and real-time PCR regarding multiplexing capability, speed, simplicity and cost.

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