Polymerase Chain Reaction on a Viral Nanoparticle

James Carr-Smith, Raúl Pacheco-Gómez, Haydn A. Little, Matthew R. Hicks, Sandeep Sandhu, Nadja Steinke, David J. Smith, Alison Rodger, Sarah A. Goodchild, Roman A. Lukaszewski, James H R Tucker*, Timothy R. Dafforn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The field of synthetic biology includes studies that aim to develop new materials and devices from biomolecules. In recent years, much work has been carried out using a range of biomolecular chassis including α-helical coiled coils, β-sheet amyloids and even viral particles. In this work, we show how hybrid bionanoparticles can be produced from a viral M13 bacteriophage scaffold through conjugation with DNA primers that can template a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This unprecedented example of a PCR on a virus particle has been studied by flow aligned linear dichroism spectroscopy, which gives information on the structure of the product as well as a new protototype methodology for DNA detection. We propose that this demonstration of PCR on the surface of a bionanoparticle is a useful addition to ways in which hybrid assemblies may be constructed using synthetic biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1325
Number of pages10
JournalACS Synthetic Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • bacteriophage
  • linear dichroism
  • M13
  • nanoparticle
  • PCR
  • shear flow


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