Rapid Genomic Identification of Pathogens

Technology #32151

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Design of a nanoparticle-based assay for the identification of genomic markers of the intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium avium spp. paratuberculosis.
Manny Perez Figueroa, Ph.D.
Saleh A. Naser, Ph.D.
Charalambos Kaittanis
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Brion Berman
Assistant Director 407.882.0342
Patent Protection

Microbe detection via hybridizing magnetic relaxation nanosensors

US Patent 9,109,249

Using hybridizing Magnetic Relaxation Nanosensors (hMRS)

Microoganims associated with disease or contamination of the environment present serious challenges that threaten public health. For example: pathogenesis relies on the survival of microorganisms within host cells, such as macrophages and dendritic cells, or tissue. This mode of infection, with or without clinical symptomology, hampers bacterial detection, preventing correct diagnosis. Consequently, the physician cannot proceed to assigning an appropriate treatment course, delaying the clearance of the pathogen from the body. Traditional methods such as culture or ELISA cannot effectively detect intracellular pathogens in biological specimens as the microorganism is hidden away within immune cells; and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), while highly specific and sensitive, is laborious, time-consuming and typically requires homogeneous and pure DNA samples. Because of this, there exists a need for robust, accurate and timely identification methods for infections.

Technical Details

UCF researchers have engineered a nanotechnology-based assay that can detect Mycobacterium. In vitro studies demonstrated that the nano-based assays, better known as hybridizing magnetic relaxation nanosensors (hMRS), could specifically detect a conserved genomic element in Mycobacterium’s genome, and not DNA from distant or related microorganisms. Hence, this innovative assay provides faster (1 hour v. 12 weeks) and more accurate results, while using less expensive, yet more robust, reagents. This hMRS assay is a deployable diagnostic methodology that is independent of the sample’s optical properties and is suitable for point-of-care screening.

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  • Detection of biomarkers in tissue and blood


  • Detection of diverse targets in complex media including clinical samples

Additional Technology Numbers: 32386, 32865