Rapid visual CRISPR assay: a naked-eye colorimetric detection method for nucleic acids based on CRISPR/Cas12a and convolutional neural network
Posted 20 Jul 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.07.17.452802
Posted 20 Jul 2021
Rapid diagnosis based on naked-eye colorimetric detection remains challenging, but it could build new capacities for molecular point-of-care testing (POCT). In this study, we evaluated the performance of 16 types of single-stranded DNA-fluorophore-quencher (ssDNA-FQ) reporters for use with CRISPR/Cas12a based visual colorimetric assays. Among them, 9 ssDNA-FQ reporters were found to be suitable for direct visual colorimetric detection, with especially very strong performance using ROX-labeled reporters. We optimized the reaction concentrations of these ssDNA-FQ reporters for naked-eye read-out of assay results (no transducing component required for visualization). Subsequently, we developed a convolutional neural network algorithm standardize and to automate the analytical colorimetric assessment of images and integrated this into the MagicEye mobile phone software. A field-deployable assay platform named RApid VIsual CRISPR (RAVI-CRISPR) based on a ROX-labeled reporter with isothermal amplification and CRISPR/Cas12a targeting was established. We deployed RAVI-CRISPR in a single tube towards an instrument-less colorimetric POCT format that requires only a portable rechargeable hand warmer for incubation. The RAVI-CRISPR was successfully used for the single-copy detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and African swine fever virus (ASFV). Our study demonstrates this novel RAVI-CRISPR system for distinguishing different pathogenic nucleic acid targets with high specificity and sensitivity as the simplest-to-date platform for rapid pen-side testing.
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