In this project we will develop a broadly applicable signal amplification system that relies on chemical catalysis for biosensing purposes. In preliminary experiments it was demonstrated that the functionalization of two oligonucleotides with triphenyl phosphine ligands and their hybridization on a target DNA strand produced a very efficient catalyst for the dehalogenation of an iodinated boron dipyrromethane (BODIPY) dye. The removal of the iodine transforms the non-fluorescent chromophore into a highly fluorescent dye. In this way, a single hybridization event results in more than 1000 fluorescent reporters and extremely low detection limits of 10 fM were successfully realized. Herein it is planned to extend this concept of signal amplification to commercially relevant technologies like Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) or DNA microarrays. For that purpose different ligands will be synthesized and the reactivity as well as the spectral range of the BODIPY reporters will be varied. These experimental efforts, therefore, represent a broadening of our existing proof of concept experiments.
Besides this experimental work, we will write up a business plan to commercialize our technology and receive further funding like seed grants or venture capital. There is a strong need in the in vitro diagnostic industry to fabricate improved analytical tests to detect new disease markers at low concentrations. With the catalytic signal amplification system several of these needs can be fulfilled. Due to the broad applicability of our technology platform it is envisioned to found a spin-off company that acts as service provider for the diagnostic industry.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/environmental biotechnology/biosensing
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/dna
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
Call for proposal
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