Using commercially available personal glucose meters for portable quantification of DNA

Yu Xiang, Yi Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA detection is commonly used in molecular biology, pathogen analysis, genetic disorder diagnosis, and forensic tests. While traditional methods for DNA detection such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA microarrays have been well developed, they require sophisticated equipment and operations, and thus it is still challenging to develop a portable and quantitative DNA detection method for the public use at home or in the field. Although many other techniques and devices have been reported to make the DNA detection simple and portable, very few of them are currently accessible to the public for quantitative DNA detection because of either the requirement of laboratory-based instrument or lack of quantitative detection. Herein we report application of personal glucose meters (PGMs), which are widely available, low cost, and simple to use, for quantitative detection of DNA, including a hepatitis B virus DNA fragment. The quantification is based on target-dependent binding of cDNA-invertase conjugate with the analyte DNA, thereby transforming the concentration of DNA in the sample into glucose through invertase-catalyzed hydrolysis of sucrose. Instead of amplifying DNA strands through PCR, which is vulnerable to contaminations commonly encountered for home and field usage, we demonstrate here signal amplifications based on enzymatic turnovers, making it possible to detect 40 pM DNA using PGM that can detect glucose only at the mM level. The method also shows excellent selectivity toward single nucleotide mismatches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1975-1980
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 21 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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