Researchers of University of Mazandaran and Babol Noshirvani University of Technology have developed a biosensor that can be used in analyzing DNA sequences. The major benefits of this biosensor, in comparison to other tools available for obtaining information about the sequence of a specific gene, are lower cost, quicker response time, simpler design and smaller dimensions.
Better diagnosis, prevention and treatment of many illnesses require tools that are fast and of good accuracy in analyzing DNA sequences. One sort of such tools are biosensors that are called “DNA hybridization biosensors”. This research raises hope for obtaining specific information about the process of DNA sequencing.
According to Dr. Jahanbakhsh Raouf, diagnosis of genetic defects using biosensors in medical diagnostic laboratories requires a lot of time and money. Therefore, here the researchers have attempted to create a biosensor that consumes microbial fuel cell (MFC) system. The purpose of this research was to gain information about the sequence of a specific gene through using this novel biosensor in a simpler, faster, and less expensive process in comparison to the traditional methods.
Dr. Raouf, explaining the major benefits of this biosensor added that “this proposed DNA biosensor, through using MFC, is both self-powered and portable. Additionally, it has a high sensitivity in detecting the target DNA sequences; moreover, it also has a low detection limit.”
He continued by saying: “this biosensor has been used in the designed experiments in order to determine the target DNA sequence in human blood serum and has exhibited satisfactory results. Therefore, once the researches complete, it will be mass produced. This biosensor can be useful in medical diagnostic laboratories and research centers and universities. It also can play an important role in clinical diagnosis of hereditary and infectious diseases, in identifying food contaminant microorganisms, in environmental surveys and also in criminal investigations”.
It is worth mentioning that this invention, entitled “A Novel Self-Powered and Sensitive Label-Free DNA Biosensor in Microbial Fuel Cell for Genetic Defect Diagnosis”, has been registered in Iran’s Organization for Registration of Deeds and Property with the registry number 89226.
This research was done collaboratively by Maryam Asghary (PhD student of Analytical Chemistry, UMZ), Dr. Jahanbakhsh Raouf (faculty member, UMZ) and Dr. Mostafa Rahimnejad (faculty member, NIT). The results of this work have been published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics journal (Volume 82, 15 August 2016, Pages 173-176) with an impact factor of 7.47.