One-pot DNA Concentration and Amplification
Infectious diseases remain one of the major causes of death worldwide in developing countries. While screening via conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the gold standard in laboratory testing, its limited applications at the point-of-care have prompted the development of more portable nucleic acid detection systems. These include isothermal DNA amplification techniques, which are less equipment-intensive than PCR. Unfortunately, these techniques still require extensive sample preparation, limiting user accessibility. In this study, we introduce a novel system that combines thermophilic helicase-dependent amplification (tHDA) with a Triton X-100 micellar aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) to achieve cell lysis, lysate processing, and enhanced nucleic acid amplification in a simple, one-step process. The combined one-pot system was able to amplify and detect a target gene from whole-cell samples containing as low as 102 cfu/mL, and is the first known application of ATPSs to isothermal DNA amplification. This system’s ease-of-use and sensitivity underlie its potential as a point-of-care diagnostic platform to detect for infectious diseases.