Project TitleNanoparticle-Based Reagent for DNA and mRNA Detection
Track Code2014-071
Short Description

Novel, highly sensitive reagent for detection of double stranded DNA in living cells

#nanotechnology #nanoparticles #manufacture/processes #researchtool #reagent


Northwestern scientists have developed a new reagent for detection of double stranded DNA in cells based on the well-known ruthenium DNA intercalator. Detection of specific genetic elements in live cells is key to understanding the onset and development of various human diseases. While several reagents to accomplish this already exist, many of them suffer from selectivity or detection issues, in addition to requiring toxic transfection reagents for intracellular delivery. This novel detection reagent from Prof. Mirkin's group can enter cells without transfection reagents, is more selective and specific for double stranded DNA than current alternatives and its fluorescence is completely quenched before the target sequence is identified. Further, this reagent could also be used for mRNA detection, localization and quantification, which may lead to development of innovative drug screening platforms.

TagsMANUFACTURE/PROCESSES, nanotechnology: nanoparticles, research tool: reagent
Posted DateJun 12, 2015 2:44 PM


Chad Mirkin*

Chad Shade

Robert Kennedy


  • Intracellular detection of duplexed oligonucleotides
  • Label-free luminescent staining agents
  • Drug screening platforms


  • Enhanced photostability and selectivity
  • Decreased background autofluorescence
  • Longer luminescence lifetime
  • No transfection reagents required


IP Status

Provisional patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Dimitra Georganopoulou, PhD

Invention Manager

(p) 847.467.3095