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Visual Detection of Fusion Genes by Ligation-Triggered Isothermal Exponential Amplification: A Point-of-Care Testing Method for Highly Specific and Sensitive Quantitation of Fusion Genes with a Smartphone

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journal contribution
posted on 10.09.2019, 16:36 by Hui Wang, Honghong Wang, Yuting Jia, Ruyan Sun, Weixiang Hong, Mai Zhang, Zhengping Li
Fusion genes, playing a causal role in human tumorigenesis and developments, are deemed as gold standard molecular biomarkers in cancer diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis. A rapid, robust, and sensitive method of detection of fusion genes for point-of-care (POC) diagnosis is urgently needed. Here, taking the advantages of the superior specificity of the ligation reaction and the highly amplified efficiency of isothermal exponential amplification with a pH indicator, we developed a colorimetric method for visual detection of fusion genes with high sensitivity and specificity by the naked eye. More importantly, we first found that fusion genes can be accurately quantified in a wide dynamic range (2 zmol to 2 fmol) by an open-source app with a smartphone-assisted RGB (red, green, and blue value) reading mode. The proposed method for Visual detection of Fusion genes by Ligation-triggered Isothermal Exponential Amplification is termed Vis-Fusion LIEXA. We have demonstrated that the Vis-Fusion LIEXA is a practical and reliable method for accurate quantitative detection of the fusion gene in a complex biological sample at zmol level in 40 min only with a smartphone, thereby providing a user-friendly and point-of-care testing (POCT) tool for molecular diagnostics.