In this study, we describe a microbead-based method using dielectrophoresis (DEP) for the fast detection of DNA amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This electrical method measures the change in impedance caused by DEP-trapped microbeads to which biotinylated target DNA molecules are chemically attached. Using this method, measurements can be obtained within 20 min. Currently, real-time PCR is among the most sensitive methods available for the detection of target DNA, and is often used in the diagnosis of infectious diseases. We therefore compared the quantitation and sensitivity achieved by our method to those achieved with real-time PCR. We found that the microbead DEP-based method exhibited the same detection limit as real-time PCR, although its quantitative detection range was slightly narrower at 10–105
copies/reaction compared with 10–107
copies/reaction for real-time PCR. Whereas real-time PCR requires expensive and complex instruments, as well as expertise in primer design and experimental principles, our novel method is simple to use, inexpensive, and rapid. This method could potentially detect viral and other DNAs efficiently in combination with conventional PCR.
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