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Compartmentalized DNA Computers for In-Vitro Diagnostic Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DNACom (Compartmentalized DNA Computers for In-Vitro Diagnostic Applications)

Reporting period: 2019-04-01 to 2020-12-31

The overal goal of the the 'DNACom' is to establish the technical proof of concept of compartmentalised DNA circuits for in-vitro molecular diagnostics (IVDs) and validate the commercial application of compartmentalised DNA circuits as low-cost, portable multiplex point-of-care devices for detection of microRNAs. The project is based on the recent discovery of the BIO-PC platform (de Greef Nat. Nanotechol. 2019) which encapsulates DNA circuits inside semipermeable capsules called proteinosomes. Encapsulation of DNA circuits improves their speed by an order of magnitude and decreases their overall leakiness and allows physical separation of different molecular sensing and processing applications as capsules can communicate with each other using short single-stranded DNAs. The project is organised along four work packages, i.e. 1) commercial product characterisation, 2) manufacturing plan, 3) IP portfolio building and 4) market study and commercialisation plan. In the past year, we have primarily worked on WP1 with a strong focus on assay development. Specifically, we have i) reconfigured the BIO-PC platform for multiplex sensing of miRNAs, ii) developed DNA circuits that can amplify miRNA-based inputs and have integrated these molecular circuits in proteinosomes and iii) compared the limit-of-detection of compartmentalised and compartmentalised miRNA sensors. Our results show that the BIO-PC platform can be reconfigured for detection of miRNA biomarkers and that amplification schemes can be integrated into the platform.