Multifunctional Nanoparticle Platform for Surface Accumulative Nucleic Acid Amplification and Rapid Electrochemical Detection: An Application to Pathogenic Coronavirus

Jeong Ook Soh, Bum Chul Park, Hyeon Su Park, Myeong Soo Kim, Hong En Fu, Young Keun Kim, Ju Hun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Of various molecular diagnostic assays, the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction is considered the gold standard for infection diagnosis, despite critical drawbacks that limit rapid detection and accessibility. To confront these issues, several nanoparticle-based molecular detection methods have been developed to a great extent, but still possess several challenges. In this study, a novel nucleic acid amplification method termed nanoparticle-based surface localized amplification (nSLAM) is paired with electrochemical detection (ECD) to develop a nucleic acid biosensor platform that overcomes these limitations. The system uses primer-functionalized Fe3O4-Au core-shell nanoparticles for nucleic acid amplification, which promotes the production of amplicons that accumulate on the nanoparticle surfaces, inducing significantly amplified currents during ECD that identify the presence of target genetic material. The platform, applying to the COVID-19 model, demonstrates an exceptional sensitivity of ∼1 copy/μL for 35 cycles of amplification, enabling the reduction of amplification cycles to 4 cycles (∼7 min runtime) using 1 fM complementary DNA. The nSLAM acts as an accelerator that actively promotes and participates in the nucleic acid amplification process through direct polymerization and binding of amplicons on the nanoparticle surfaces. This ultrasensitive fast-response system is a promising method for detecting emerging pathogens like the coronavirus and can be extended to detect a wider variety of biomolecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-847
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Feb 24

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (grant no. 2019R1A2C3006587 and 2020R1C1C1012122). This research was also supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (grant no. 2020R1A4A1016840).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.


  • coronavirus
  • DNA-functionalized nanoparticles
  • electrochemical assay
  • gene amplification
  • magnetic responsibility
  • molecular diagnosis
  • nucleic acid biosensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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