Rapid, single-cell electrochemical detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis using colloidal gold nanoparticles

Benjamin Y C Ng, Wei Xiao, Nicholas P. West, Eugene J H Wee*, Yuling Wang, Matt Trau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global health threat, with over a third of the world population suffering from the disease, and 1.5 million deaths due to the disease in 2013 alone. Despite significant advances in TB detection strategies in recent years, a bigger push toward detecting TB in the shortest and easiest way possible at the point-of-care (POC) is still in demand. To this end, we have designed a simple yet rapid and sensitive bioassay that detects Mtb DNA electrochemically using colloidal gold nanoparticles. This assay couples rapid isothermal amplification of target DNA that is specific to Mtb with gold nanoparticle electrochemistry on disposable screen printed carbon electrodes. The assay is capable of detecting a positive differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) response from as low as 1 CFU of Mtb bacilli DNA input material, having shown its exquisite sensitivity over a conventional gel based readout. The translation of our assay onto a portable potentiostat was also demonstrated, with promising results. We believe that our assay has significant potential for translation into broader bioassay applications or development as a POC diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10613-10618
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


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