CRISPR-powered Optothermal Nanotweezers: A Revolutionary Tool for Biomedical Research

CRISPR-powered optothermal nanotweezers (CRONT), biomolecules, single-molecule sequencing, drug discovery, biomedical diagnostics, CRISPR-powered Optothermal Nanotweezers
CRONT system for nucleotide detection and identification. a) A single DNA@AuNS is captured by the CRONT at the laser heating region. The heating laser is turned off at 28.8 s, and cleavage is observed afterward. b) Trapping stiffness measurements at varying laser powers in x/y direction, with the dashed line denoting the maximum stiffness at 0.5 mW. c) Position distribution of the trapped single DNA@AuNS at 0.5 mW. d) Light intensity variation of a trapped DNA@AuNS during the laser activation. The target ssDNA is from part of the Monkeypox (MP) virus sequence. Frames were recorded using dark-field microscopy, and the scale bar is 2 μm. e) Cleavage probability of the DNA@AuNS at different target ssDNA (MP) concentrations. f) Cleavage probability at different crRNA and target ssDNA combination groups (A-E) for specificity test, the target ssDNA concentrations is 250 fM. g) Cleavage probability of the DNA@AuNS at different target dsDNA (MP) concentrations. The optical power set as 0.5 mW in (a), (c–g). h) Cleavage probability of the DNA@AuNS under dsDNA at a lower optical power of 0.16 mW, the inset indicates the temperature distribution. Each capturing event was conducted for 2 min, and each data point comprised 10–17 capturing events over a 40-min period. Each concentration was tested three times. The PEG mass fraction is 10%. The concentration of AuNS and Cas12a is 0.5 μM and 0.125 nM respectively. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: 10.1038/s41377-023-01326-9

Scientists Develop New Technique for Precise Manipulation and Detection of Biomolecules

A team of scientists has developed a new technique for manipulating and detecting biomolecules using CRISPR technology. This new technique, called CRISPR-powered optothermal nanotweezers (CRONT), has the potential to revolutionize biomedical research.

CRONT uses light to heat up gold nanoparticles that are attached to DNA strands. This heat causes the nanoparticles to vibrate, which creates a trap that can capture and hold biomolecules. The CRISPR technology is then used to identify the biomolecules that are trapped in the nanotweezers.

This new technique is a significant advance over traditional optical trapping methods, which are limited in their ability to trap and identify biomolecules. CRONT is more precise and can trap a wider range of biomolecules.

CRONT has a number of potential applications in biomedical research, including:

  • Single-molecule sequencing: CRONT could be used to sequence DNA molecules one at a time. This would allow scientists to study the genetic makeup of individual cells and tumors.
  • Drug discovery: CRONT could be used to identify new drugs by screening for compounds that interact with specific biomolecules.
  • Biomedical diagnostics: CRONT could be used to develop new diagnostic tests for diseases such as cancer.

The development of CRONT is a major breakthrough in biomedical research. This new technique has the potential to revolutionize the way scientists study and treat diseases.


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