Engineering a Rigid Nucleic Acid Structure to Improve the Limit of Detection for Genetic Assays

Anal Chem. 2024 Jun 11;96(23):9729-9736. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.4c02124. Epub 2024 May 27.


Detecting nucleic acids at ultralow concentrations is critical for research and clinical applications. Particle-based assays are commonly used to detect nucleic acids. However, DNA hybridization on particle surfaces is inefficient due to the instability of tethered sequences, which negatively influences the assay's detection sensitivity. Here, we report a method to stabilize sequences on particle surfaces using a double-stranded linker at the 5' end of the tethered sequence. We termed this method Rigid Double Stranded Genomic Linkers for Improved DNA Analysis (RIGID-DNA). Our method led to a 3- and 100-fold improvement of the assays' clinical and analytical sensitivity, respectively. Our approach can enhance the hybridization efficiency of particle-based assays without altering existing assay workflows. This approach can be adapted to other platforms and surfaces to enhance the detection sensitivity.

MeSH terms

  • DNA* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization*


  • DNA