Magneto-Mechanical Detection of Nucleic Acids and Telomerase Activity in Cancer Cells

Yossi Weizmann, Fernando Patolsky, Oleg Lioubashevski, Itamar Willner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


The ultra-sensitive magneto-mechanical detection of DNA, single-base-mismatches in nucleic acids, and the assay of telomerase activity are accomplished by monitoring the magnetically induced deflection of a cantilever functionalized with magnetic beads associated with the biosensing interface. The analyzed M13φ DNA hybridized with the nucleic acid-functionalized magnetic beads is replicated in the presence of dNTPs that include biotin-labeled dUTP. The resulting beads are attached to an avidin-coated cantilever, and the modified cantilever is deflected by an external magnetic field. Similarly, telomerization of nucleic acid-modified magnetic beads in the presence of dNTPs, biotin-labeled dUTP, and telomerase from cancer cell extracts and the subsequent association of the magnetic beads to the cantilever surface results in the lever deflection by an external magnetic field. M13φ DNA is sensed with a sensitivity limit of 7.1 × 10-20 M by the magneto-mechanical detection method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1073-1080
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 4 Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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