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Photoactivatable CRISPR/Cas12a Sensors for Biomarkers Imaging and Point-of-Care Diagnostics

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posted on 2024-02-02, 16:05 authored by Qing-Nan Li, Dong-Xia Wang, Dan-Ye Chen, Jia-Ao Lyu, Ya-Xin Wang, Shun-Li Wu, Hong-Xin Jiang, De-Ming Kong
In recent years, the CRISPR/Cas12a-based sensing strategy has shown significant potential for specific target detection due to its rapid and sensitive characteristics. However, the “always active” biosensors are often insufficient to manipulate nucleic acid sensing with high spatiotemporal control. It remains crucial to develop nucleic acid sensing devices that can be activated at the desired time and space by a remotely applied stimulus. Here, we integrated photoactivation with the CRISPR/Cas12a system for DNA and RNA detection, aiming to provide high spatiotemporal control for nucleic acid sensing. By rationally designing the target recognition sequence, this photoactivation CRISPR/Cas12a system could recognize HPV16 and survivin, respectively. We combined the lateral flow assay strip test with the CRISPR/Cas12a system to realize the visualization of nucleic acid cleavage signals, displaying potential instant test application capabilities. Additionally, we also successfully realized the temporary control of its fluorescent sensing activity for survivin by photoactivation in vivo, allowing rapid detection of target nucleic acids and avoiding the risk of contamination from premature leaks during storage. Our strategy suggests that the CRISPR/Cas12a platform can be triggered by photoactivation to sense various targets, expanding the technical toolbox for precise biological and medical analysis. This study represents a significant advancement in nucleic acid sensing and has potential applications in disease diagnosis and treatment.

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