DNAzyme based Disease Detection


"But biology and computer science, life and
computation - are related. I am confident that
at their interface great discoveries await
those who seek them."

- Leonard Adleman

(Recipient of the 2002 Turing Award)


Detection Methodologies
and Limitations

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Our DNAzyme is a single-stranded DNA molecule strategically designed with three recognition loops (RecLoops), resulting in a 'T'-shaped secondary structure with loops at all the three ends. This structure effectively mirrors the Boolean expression X&Y&z̅. Within the DNAzyme's structure, the upper arms conceal a hidden region due to strand overlap, housing its enzymatic properties. The third loop serves as a deactivation sequence. Consequently, the DNAzyme activates only when conditions X and Y are simultaneously present while Z is absent. Any other combination renders it inactive 2 .

Upon activation, this DNAzyme selectively cleaves our reporter substrate. This substrate is equipped with a fluorophore and a quencher at its ends. The cleavage process alters the interaction between the fluorophore and quencher, yielding a discernible fluorescent signal. By tailoring this specificity to target pathogens, the substrate emits a 'glow' in the presence of an infection, thus aptly earning the name PathoGlow.

DNAzyme recognition sites bind to complementary nucleic acids
Correct binding activates the DNAzyme
Activated DNAzyme cleaves a fluorescent substrate, producing a fluorescence signal
Fluorescence signal quantified using a spectrophotometer giving the infection load


makes it Novel?

  • Easy to implement: Sample preparation is as simple as sonication followed by detection
  • No amplification: Avoids all biases and detects unique short mRNA sequences and proteins
  • Simultaneous Multisite detection: A singular DNAzyme contains 3 unique recognition site thus, it tests for three parameters at the same time
  • Rapid Design: Due to its high modularity, kits can be designed immediately following the partial/complete genome publishing of an organism