Quantum‐Dot‐Encoded Microbeads for Multiplexed Genetic Detection of Non‐amplified DNA Samples

Yali Gao, William L Stanford, Warren CW Chan

Small, Volume 7, Issue 1 | DOI: 10.1002/smll.201000909


Barcoding technologies have become the basis for a new generation of molecular diagnostic platforms for measuring biomarkers in a high‐throughput, rapid, and sensitive manner. Thus far, researchers have mainly focused on preparing different types of barcodes but, in order to use them optimally in genomic‐ and proteomic‐based applications, there is a need to understand the effect of barcode and assay parameters on their performance. Herein, quantum‐dot barcodes are systematically characterized for the detection of non‐amplified DNA sequences. The effect of capture probes, reporter probes, and target DNA sequence lengths are studied, as well as the effect of the amount of noncomplementary sequences on the hybridization kinetics and efficiency. From DNA denaturation to signal detection, quantum‐dot‐barcode assays require less than one hour to detect a target DNA sequence with a linear dynamic range of 0.02–100 fmol. Three optically distinct quantum‐dot barcodes are used to demonstrate the multiplexing capability of these barcodes for genomic detection. These results suggest that quantum‐dot barcodes are an excellent platform for multiplex, rapid, and sensitive genetic detection.