A PCR provides not only valuable genetic information that enables precise differential disease diagnosis but also quantitative data to assess various clinical states. We report the successful integration of novel dual-mode magnetic Fe3O4 nanoclusters that deliver photothermal conversion. The clusters can be excited with pulsed laser light for precision thermal cycle modulation to develop an ultrafast quantitative PCR system. Traditional PCR heats and cools the sample from outside the PCR tube; the heat needs to pass through the heat block, tube wall and transfer to the DNA through water molecules. In contrast, our system uses nanoparticles inside the liquid phase as numerous 'nanoheaters'; thus the thermal transfer between particles and adjacent water or DNA molecules becomes extremely efficient because of proximity at the molecular level. Moreover, the defective mitochondrial DNA from cybrid cell lines of a patient with chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia syndrome, a mitochondrial disease, was efficaciously detected. The system has a simple design, is extremely energy efficient and is faster than traditional qPCR. Our finding provides new insight into rapid and accurate quantitative diagnostics for future point-of-care applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Modelling and Simulation
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics