ANALYST, vol.138, no.20, pp.6117-6126, 2013 (SCI-Expanded)
Detection of mutated (MT) deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) amongst the wild type (WT) requires the probe DNA (pDNA) that is complementary to the MT to discriminate the WT by one or two nucleotide mismatches. Traditionally this is achieved by raising the temperature to above the melting temperature (T-m) of the WT (T-WT) but below that of the MT (T-MT). However, a raised temperature is also accompanied by a weakened binding of the MT to the pDNA which can reduce the detection sensitivity. In this study, we investigated flow as a way to enhance MT detection specificity at a lower temperature. Gold-coated glass (GCG) slides immobilized with pDNA complementary to the target MT were placed at the center of the flow cell. The detection was done by flowing MT or WT at various concentrations followed by flowing 105 ml(-1) fluorescent reporter microspheres (FRMs) that were 6 mm in size and coated with reporter DNA complementary to the MT or WT but different from the pDNA at various flow rates and temperatures. The detection of MT or WT was characterized by counting the FRMs captured on the GCG. Hepatitis B virus 1762/1764 double mutation (HBV DM) was the model MT and the T-MT and T-WT were 47 degrees C and 22 degrees C, respectively. It was shown that at room temperature, flow initially increased the binding of both the MT and WT at lower flow rates but decreased the binding at flow rates >= 4 ml min(-1) due to the increase in the flow-induced impingement force on the FRMs to overcome the binding of the MT and the WT to the GCG at higher flow rates. At >= 30 degrees C the decrease in binding of the WT with an increasing flow rate was more than that of the MT because 30 degrees C was above the T-WT but still well below the T-MT. As a result, the detection of MT at 30 degrees C with a flow rate of 4 ml min(-1) was more specific than at 35 degrees C without flow. These results indicate that flow can diminish WT binding at a lower temperature than without flow and allow MT detection to occur at a lower temperature with high specificity.