Genotyping by alkaline dehybridization using graphically encoded particles

Huaibin Zhang, Adam J. Deconinck, Scott C. Slimmer, Patrick S. Doyle, Jennifer A. Lewis, Ralph G. Nuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work describes a nonenzymatic, isothermal genotyping method based on the kinetic differences exhibited in the dehybridization of perfectly matched (PM) and single-base mismatched (MM) DNA duplexes in an alkaline solution. Multifunctional encoded hydrogel particles incorporating allele-specific oligonucleotide (ASO) probes in two distinct regions were fabricated by using microfluidic-based stop-flow lithography. Each particle contained two distinct ASO probe sequences differing at a single base position, and thus each particle was capable of simultaneously probing two distinct target alleles. Fluorescently labeled target alleles were annealed to both probe regions of a particle, and the rate of duplex dehybridization was monitored by using fluorescence microscopy. Duplex dehybridization was achieved through an alkaline stimulus using either a pH step function or a temporal pH gradient. When a single target probe sequence was used, the rate of mismatch duplex dehybridization could be discriminated from the rate of perfect match duplex dehybridization. In a more demanding application in which two distinct probe sequences were used, we found that the rate profiles provided a means to discriminate probe dehybridizations from both of the two mismatched duplexes as well as to distinguish at high certainty the dehybridization of the two perfectly matched duplexes. These results demonstrate an ability of alkaline dehybridization to correctly discriminate the rank hierarchy of thermodynamic stability among four sets of perfect match and single-base mismatch duplexes. We further demonstrate that these rate profiles are strongly temperature dependent and illustrate how the sensitivity can be compensated beneficially by the use of an actuating gradient pH field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2867-2873
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • DNA recognition
  • fluorescent probes
  • gene sequencing
  • kinetic resolution
  • nonequilibrium processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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