CRISPR Powered Transistors: Harnessing Biology as Technology

K. Aran
Keck Graduate Institute,
United States

Keywords: CRISPR, gFETs, biosensors, amplification-free, biology gated transistors

Summary:

We recently developed the first-generation DNA biosensors that combines CRISPR technology with graphene-based field effect transistors (gFETs) to detect target DNA sequences within the whole genome without the need for DNA amplification. This technology, termed CRISPR-Chip, utilizes the genome searching capability of catalytically deactivated Cas9 enzyme (dCas9) and reprogrammable RNA molecule to unzip the double stranded DNA and bind to its target. This binding event causes a change in graphene conductivity which can be detected in real time within the gFET construct. CRISPR-Chip was utilized to detect target genes within clinical samples obtained from patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, without the need for amplification, within less than 30 minutes. The applications of this technology platform go beyond diagnostics. CRISPR-Chip can provide greater insights on the mechanism of CRISPR and can lead to safe and more effective utilization of this gene editing technology for therapeutic applications.