FELICX: A robust nucleic acid detection method using flap endonuclease and CRISPR-Cas12
Nucleic acid detection is crucial for monitoring diseases for which rapid, sensitive, and easy-to-deploy diagnostic tools are needed. CRISPR-based technologies can potentially fulfill this need for nucleic acid detection. However, their widespread use has been restricted by the requirement of a protospacer adjacent motif in the target and extensive guide RNA optimization. In this study, we developed FELICX, a technique that can overcome these limitations and provide a useful alternative to existing technologies. FELICX comprises flap endonuclease, Taq ligase and CRISPR-Cas for diagnostics (X) and can be used for detecting nucleic acids and single-nucleotide polymorphisms. This method can be deployed as a point-of-care test, as only two temperatures are needed without thermocycling for its functionality, with the result generated on lateral flow strips. As a proof-of-concept, we showed that up to 0.6 copies/μL of DNA and RNA could be detected by FELICX in 60 min and 90 min, respectively, using simulated samples. Additionally, FELICX could be used to probe any base pair, unlike other CRISPR-based technologies. Finally, we demonstrated the versatility of FELICX by employing it for virus detection in infected human cells, the identification of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and cancer diagnostics using simulated samples. Based on its unique advantages, we envision the use of FELICX as a next-generation CRISPR- based technology in nucleic acid diagnostics.
Journal/Conference/Book titleBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Corresponding authorMatthew Wook Chang
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