Detection of clinically relevant RNA transcripts using RNA-toehold switch sensors
Tools to rapidly identify RNA transcripts have wide clinical use in areas ranging from viral diagnostics, to microbiome and antibiotic resistance research. This talk will outline the development and progress made on a platform that utilizes RNA-toehold switch sensors to detect various RNA transcripts. The switches are executed by a cell-free transcription-translation system, which enables rapid detection and the capability to freeze-dry reactions for transport and storage at room temperature. Coupling toehold switch detection with isothermal amplification of specific RNA transcripts results in femtomolar sensitivity. Furthermore, the flexibility of the platform allows users to adapt to applications in both low-resource and traditional laboratory settings.