Using Hetero-multivalent DNA-functionalized Materials to Detect Genetic Mutations


Improving diagnostic accuracy using hetero-multivalent DNA-functionalized materials for disease targets containing one or more genetic mutations.

Key Benefits

  • Tunable oligos increase specificity and cooperative binding to the disease target of interest.
  • Distinguishes between cis- and trans mutations.
  • Identifies different strains of viruses and avoids expensive and timely whole genome sequencing.

Market Summary

Molecular diagnostics are used to detect and diagnose diseases at the molecular level by analyzing nucleic acids (such as DNA or RNA) or proteins to identify disease-specific biomarkers. Some key technologies used in molecular diagnostics include polymerase chain reaction (PCR), microarrays, and next-generation sequencing (NGS). In addition, hybridization tests are an emerging diagnostic technology; however, they are limited by tradeoffs between specificity and sensitivity, potentially leading to false positives and negatives. The sector's growth is driven by the demand for personalized medicine, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and technological advances that enable faster and more accurate diagnostic testing.

Technical Summary

Researchers at Emory are developing a novel hetero-multivalent hybridization method to improve the specificity and sensitivity of nucleic acid sensing assays. This technology uses multiple, distinct oligonucleotide sequences to bind to a target rather than a single sequence. The multivalent binding improves specificity by reducing off-target binding and increasing discrimination between similar targets. Preliminary data in the laboratory show the method can differentiate different strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Developmental Stage

Laboratory proof of concept data available. Publications Deal, B., Ma, R., Ogasawara, H., Kindt, J., & Salaita, K. (2022). Hetero-multivalency enables enhanced detection of nucleic acid mutations.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
PCT PCT PCT/US2023/066072   4/21/2023   Pending
Tech ID: 22114
Published: 10/13/2023