Bio-SCAN V2: A CRISPR/dCas9-based lateral flow assay for rapid detection of theophylline

Wenjun Jiang, Rashid Aman, Zahir Ali, Magdy M. Mahfouz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rapid, specific, and robust diagnostic strategies are needed to develop sensitive biosensors for small molecule detection, which could aid in controlling contamination and disease transmission. Recently, the target-induced collateral activity of Cas nucleases [clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated nucleases] was exploited to develop high-throughput diagnostic modules for detecting nucleic acids and small molecules. Here, we have expanded the diagnostic ability of the CRISPR-Cas system by developing Bio-SCAN V2, a ligand-responsive CRISPR-Cas platform for detecting non-nucleic acid small molecule targets. The Bio-SCAN V2 consists of an engineered ligand-responsive sgRNA (ligRNA), biotinylated dead Cas9 (dCas9-biotin), 6-carboxyfluorescein (FAM)-labeled amplicons, and lateral flow assay (LFA) strips. LigRNA interacts with dCas9-biotin only in the presence of sgRNA-specific ligand molecules to make a ribonucleoprotein (RNP). Next, the ligand-induced ribonucleoprotein is exposed to FAM-labeled amplicons for binding, and the presence of the ligand (small molecule) is detected as a visual signal [(dCas9-biotin)-ligRNA-FAM labeled DNA-AuNP complex] at the test line of the lateral flow assay strip. With the Bio-SCAN V2 platform, we are able to detect the model molecule theophylline with a limit of detection (LOD) up to 2 μM in a short time, requiring only 15 min from sample application to visual readout. Taken together, Bio-SCAN V2 assay provides a rapid, specific, and ultrasensitive detection platform for theophylline.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - Jan 19 2023


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