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Modified Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNAs) for Detection of DNA or RNA and Identification of a Disease or Pathogen

Posted Feb 20 2013 7:00pm

Description of Invention:
The NIH announces a novel method for fast, simple, and accurate detection of nucleic acids outside the modern laboratory. Nucleic acid testing is highly specific and often provides definitive identification of a disease or pathogen. Methods to detect nucleic acid sequences and identify a disease or pathogen are dominated by PCR, but applying PCR-based techniques in remote settings is challenging. Researchers at the NIH have developed a universal, colorimetric, nucleic acid-responsive diagnostic system that uses two short peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes and does not rely on PCR. The design of a cyclopentane-modified surface probe and a biotin-containing reporter probe allows excellent DNA and RNA detection. NIH researchers have specifically demonstrated this technology's suitability for early detection of HIV RNA or anthrax DNA.

  • Ultra-high sensitive detection of nucleic acids
  • Convenient, universal, colorimetric diagnostic tool
  • Can be used to detect any kind of infectious disease by simply changing the PNA sequences of the specific probe
  • Suitable for early detection of HIV, anthrax, tuberculosis, human papilloma virus (HPV), avian flu, E. coli, and more

  • Eliminates requirement for PCR
  • Fast, simple method that can be used outside the laboratory
  • Modified PNAs provide resistance to degradation by enzymes and a high degree of stability to any diagnostic device

Development Status:
  • Prototype
  • In vitro data available

Daniel H Appella (NIDDK)
Christopher Micklitsch (NIDDK)
Bereket Oquare (ImClone Systems, Inc.)
Chao Zhao (NIDDK)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-260-2012/0
US, Application No. 61/684,354 filed 17 Aug 2012

Relevant Publication:
  1. Micklitsch CM, et al. [ PMID 23214925 ]

Collaborative Research Opportunity:
The NIDDK is seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize Modified Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNAs) for Detection of DNA or RNA. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Cindy K. Fuchs, J.D. at or 301-451-3636.

For Licensing Information Please Contact:
Charlene Sydnor Ph.D.
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-435-4689
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 2535

Updated: 02/2013

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