CORDIS - EU research results
CORDIS

Compartmentalized DNA Computers for In-Vitro Diagnostic Applications

Project description

MicroRNA-based diagnostics via DNA computers

Changes in microRNA levels are associated with human diseases, and their monitoring enables clinicians to perform diagnosis and evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of drugs. DNA computing represents an emerging technology that uses DNA, biochemistry and molecular biology hardware instead of the traditional silicon-based technologies. The EU-funded DNACom project will establish the proof-of-concept of compartmentalised DNA computers for in vitro molecular diagnostics and validate the commercial application of compartmentalised DNA circuits as point-of-care devices for the detection and classification of microRNA signatures. The project will capitalise on the partners' development of compartmentalised DNA-based molecular computers inside semipermeable micro-compartments made from a bovine serum albumin–polymer conjugate. The platform is capable of distributed sensing and processing of DNA and RNA strands.

Objective

Changes in human microRNA (miRNA) levels are associated with several important human diseases. Monitoring changes in miRNA levels would enable clinicians to perform diagnosis and evaluate therapeutic efficacy of drugs. In principle, changes in a miRNA signature could be detected by existing methods such as quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR). However, the experimental complexity and computational analysis of the data prevents the measurements of miRNA signatures in a clinical setting. DNA-based molecular computers combine multiplex detection of DNA and RNA strands with molecular computation and are thus able to process and classify miRNA signatures into easy interpretable answers. In my ERC starting grant BioCircuit, we have made a technological breakthrough by compartmentalizing DNA-based molecular computers inside semipermeable micrometer-sized compartments made from a Bovine serum albumin (BSA) polymer conjugate. We have shown that compartmentalization of DNA circuits improves their speed by an order of magnitude and decreases their overall leakiness. Importantly, our work has revealed that this platform is capable of distributed sensing and processing of DNA and RNA strands.
In 'DNACom' we will 1) establish the technical proof of concept of compartmentalized DNA computers for in-vitro molecular diagnostics (IVDs) and 2) validate the commercial application of compartmentalized DNA circuits as low-cost, portable point-of-care devices for detection and classification of microRNA signatures.

Host institution

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EINDHOVEN
Net EU contribution
€ 149 770,00
Address
GROENE LOPER 3
5612 AE Eindhoven
Netherlands

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Region
Zuid-Nederland Noord-Brabant Zuidoost-Noord-Brabant
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Total cost
€ 149 770,00

Beneficiaries (1)