AMPLON Simplifies DNA Amplification for Diverse Medical Applications

A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has created a novel method for amplification, testing, and analysis of target DNA sequences.

This new technique, or reaction, called AMPLON (Amplifying DNA with Multiarm Priming and Looping Optimization of Nucleic Acid), provides a substitute to the previously accepted “gold-standard” Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method, paving the way for new applications in medical diagnosis.

The research was published in the journal Advanced Materials.

AMPLON has the potential to positively change the way molecular analysis and clinical diagnostics are performed, from infectious-disease diagnostics to personalized medicine and environmental monitoring.”

Mohamed S. Draz, Study Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University

How Does it Work?

Researchers utilize such technology to compare the DNA of sick cells to that of healthy ones, allowing them to better understand disease progression and treatment options.

AMPLON provides numerous extensions along the DNA strand to boost the speed and precision of DNA synthesis while maintaining a constant temperature.

This new streamlined procedure reduces the need to operate at high and low temperatures, which can stress materials. It also makes the amplification process more organized and accessible, particularly in settings where precise temperature control is difficult.

The traditional PCR procedure involves heating the DNA sample until it separates into two pieces of single-stranded DNA. An enzyme then uses the original strands as templates to create two new strands of DNA. The procedure is arduous, time-consuming, and costly.

We have developed a new method of DNA amplification that does not require bulky lab-bound equipment but can be conducted in one step and in diverse settings, more significantly, our approach does not weaken enzymes like the PCR method.”

Mohamed S. Draz, Assistant Professor and Study Principal Investigator, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University

AMPLON’s multiarmed DNA primer design can change enzyme shortcomings into strengths, increasing amplification efficiency and producing consistent results.

Draz added, “We have been able to enhance amplification and reduce amplification time by 50%, our approach has the potential to dramatically change the way nucleic acid amplification is performed, providing instead a portable, reliable, and cost-effective solution for applications, ranging from point-of-care diagnostics to field-based research.”

Source:
Journal reference:

Doganay, M. T., et al. (2024) AMPLON: Amplifying DNA with Multi‐Arm Priming and Looping Optimization of Nucleic Acid. Advanced Materials. doi.org/10.1002/adma.202311634

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