DNA Nanodevices for Point-of-Care Testing

DNA nanodevice can detect 0.1 nm microRNA

Invention Summary:

Point-of-Care (POC) testing is defined as a simple operated, easy-to-read, rapid and low-cost medical diagnosis that can be used by non-specialists at home, in the field or on an ambulance. It provides timely diagnostic results, enabling early diagnosis of diseases, protective therapy and rapid treatment of the patients. POC testing requires unique features, including: (1) a simplified operation (e.g. one-pot assay) by non-specialists at diverse locations, (2) easy-to-read signals, (3) a reliable and rapid assay and (4) low cost.

This invention disclosed DNA nanodevices that can be adopted for POC testing. The nanodevices contain a limited number of oligonucleotides and a simple catalytic system. Target molecules can be identified by visible color change. It does not require any additional steps to separate detectable components from the assay background, and can be applied to in-home use or diagnoses at diverse locations. As proof-of-concept, Dr. Fu's team has developed and tested DNA nanodevices to detect a microRNA biomarker for prostate cancer at concentrations as low as 0.1 nm.

Similar DNA nanodevices can be readily designed for the detection of other disease-relevant nucleic acids and small molecules. This technology can be readily extended to a low-cost, rapid and portable system.


  • One-pot assay with color change
  • One-step detection of target molecules
  • Low cost

Market Applications:

  • POC testing for a variety of disease-relevant nucleic acids, small molecules and proteins, on a rapid and low-cost detection platform with visible color changes
  • POC testing for cancer diagnosis by detecting circulating miRNAs or single-nucleotide variants (SNVs)
  • POC testing to monitor drug food safety and metal pollution

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Ryan Escolin
Licensing Manager, Life Sciences
Rutgers University
Bioengineering scaffolds
Cancer biomarkers