Professor Sung Jae Kim, develops a novel method for nanoelectrokinetic direct detection of target gene

2019-01-02l Hit 40

▲From left: SNU ECE Professor Sung Jae Kim, IBS Center for Genome Engineering Director Jin-Soo Kim, Jeju National University Professor Hyomin Lee of the department of chemical and biological engineering, SNU ECE graduate student Jihye Choi, and SNU graduate student Euihwan Jeong of the department of chemistry

A novel nanoelectrokinetic direct detection method that can detect target genes was developed by researchers in Korea.

SNU College of Engineering (Dean Kukheon Char) revealed on the 19th that a new method for easy target gene detection was developed by a joint research team of professor Sung Jae Kim of department of electrical and computer engineering, Jin-Soo Kim who is the captain of Center for Genome Engineering, Institute for Basic Science, and professor Hyomin Lee from department of biological and chemical engineering of Jeju University.

This technology uses the ion concentration polarization (ICP) phenomenon, a nanoelectrokinectic phenomenon, as a mechanism for detection and applies the detection method to CRISPR/dCas9 protein for rapid and direct detection of targeted DNA molecules.

The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method pervasively used these days for DNA detection that uses cloning suffers from internal technological issues and high examination cost. Because of this it has been a stumbling block to utilizing DNA information for diagnosing and monitoring diseases.

To this issue, the joint research team first formulated the accurate characteristic of selective preconcentration that uses the ion concentration polarization phenomenon happening around nanomembranes inside a microchannel. Then, based on the fact that the electron mobility decreased when the sample was combined with CRISPR/dCas9 proteins that captures the target gene, it was possible to accurately detect the target substance without using PCR.

 The technology is valued as a state-of-the-art convergent technology which combined genome editing technology and nanoelectrokinetic technology. It allows short time decision making on whether the target genome was detected or not by visualization as if using a pregnancy test kit. As a result, rapid and exact DNA diagnosis is possible with lower cost.

SNU professor Sung Jae Kim said, “Through this research, we expect to contribute in technology development for point-of-care testing and non-invasive personalized medicine diagnosis. Our joint research team is currently working on developing a new platform for blood cancer diagnosis using this technology.”

 The results of this research were published in the top journal of the field of nanotechnology ‘Nano Letters’ on the 15th of December. The research was supported by Ministry of Science and ICT Basic Research Lab Project, Ministry of Health and Welfare Disease Control Technology Development Project and SNU BK21 Creative Research Engineer Development for IT.

Nano Letters:

A conceptual diagram of the new detection method. Based on a microfluidics device, combined dCas9-DNA with high mobility stacks near a nanojunction whereas non-combined DNA propagates.

▲Two lines of signal detected when the sample DNA is combined with dCas9 protein (right), one line of signal detected when not combined(left)

Translated by Kyungjin Lee, English Editor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,