Detecting DNA and RNA at Zeptomole Scale Sensitivities

SLU ID 10-017 | Biolayer Interferometry Measurement of Biological Targets

Intellectual Property Status


  • Patented
  • Know-how based
  • Licensee
  • Development partner
  • Commercial partner
  • Investment
  • University spin-out company


Analyzing DNA is essential to modern molecular biology and clinical diagnostics. However, many methods for DNA analysis are too costly and inefficient for numerous commercial applications.


Researchers at Saint Louis University have developed methods to detect specific target DNAs at zeptomole scale sensitivities. The technology is implemented using fully automated instrumentation and has broad application in diagnostics and genetic screening.


The potential advantages of this technology over existing solutions include:

  • Increase ability to detect mutations in samples containing over 100-fold excess of wild-type DNA sequences.
  • Minimize the amount of purification required to analyze DNA.
  • Minimize the amount of technical expertise required to perform DNA analysis.
  • Minimize the cost of DNA analysis.
  • Minimize the time required to perform DNA analysis.


Potential applications of this technology include:

  • Diagnostics
  • Genetic screening
  • Genotyping
  • Analysis of clinical samples for mutations and nucleotide sequence polymorphisms
  • Exposing a biosensor to a sample containing the target molecule
  • Amplifying the number of bound peroxidase by allowing the peroxidase enzyme to react with a proteinaceous substrate coupled to biotin


Saint Louis University is seeking partners to further develop and commercialize this technology.


  • United States patent 8,512,950