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Self-resetting Molecular Probes for Nucleic Acids Enabled by Fuel Dissipative Systems

By Na Li, Yu Liu, Zhe Yin, Rui Liu, Linghao Zhang, Yuee Zhao, Liang Ma, Xiaochuan Dai, Dongsheng Zhou, Xin Su

Posted 01 Jun 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.01.21257665

Amid of COVID-19 pandemic devastating the public health around the world, it become urgent to maintain a sufficiently large supply of nucleic acid tests to screen suspected cases timely. Reusable molecular probes in current testing method could potentially lead to enormous amount of screening capacity, critical for the disease control. Herein, we for the first time report a kind of self-resetting molecular probes for repeatedly detecting SARS-CoV-2 RNA, enabled by orchestrating a biomimetic fuel dissipative system via dynamic DNA nanotechnology. A set of simulation toolkits was utilized for the design and optimization of the self-resetting probe, allowing for highly consistent signal amplitudes across cyclic detections of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Idiosyncratically, FWHM regulated by dissipative kinetics exhibits a fingerprint signal for high confidential identification of single-nucleotide mutation in the virus sequence. We further exploited our self-resetting probes to examine multiple human-infectious RNA virus including SARS-CoV-2, ZIKV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV to demonstrate its generic nucleic acid detection capability and superior orthogonality. Self-resetting probes were also deployed for detection of 110 clinical nasopharyngeal swabs and correctly classify all the clinical samples from 55 COVID-19 patients and 55 controls. We anticipate that the DNA nanotechnology-enabled self-resetting probe could circumvent the lack of sustainability in the diagnostics of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, thus helping disease control and building a broader global public health agenda.

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