CRISPR-Cas12a-Derived Photoelectrochemical Biosensor for Point-Of-Care Diagnosis of Nucleic Acid

Ruijin Zeng, Hexiang Gong, Yanli Li, Yuxuan Li, Wei Lin, Dianping Tang, Dietmar Knopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Scopus citations


This work presented a point-of-care (POC) photoelectrochemical (PEC) biosensing for the detection of human papillomavirus-16 (HPV-16) on a portable electrochemical detection system by using CRISPR-Cas12a trans-cleaving the G-quadruplex for the biorecognition/amplification and a hollow In2O3−In2S3-modified screen-printed electrode (In2O3−In2S3/SPE) as the photoactive material. G-quadruplexes were capable of biocatalytic precipitation (H2O2mediated 4-chloro-1-naphthol oxidation) on the In2O3−In2S3/SPE surface, resulting in a weakened photocurrent, but suffered from trans-cleavage when the CRISPR-Cas12a system specifically recognized the analyte. The photocurrent results could be directly observed with the card-sized electrochemical device via a smartphone, which displayed a high-value photocurrent for these positive samples, while a low-value photocurrent for the target-free samples. Such a system exhibited satisfying photocurrent responses toward HPV-16 within a wide working range from 5.0 to 5000 pM and allowed for detection of HPV-16 at a concentration as low as 1.2 pM. The proposed assay provided a smartphone signal readout to enable the rapid screening PEC determination of HPV-16 concentration without sophisticated instruments, thus meeting the requirements of remote areas and resource-limited settings. We envision that combining an efficient biometric PEC sensing platform with a wireless card-sized electrochemical device will enable high-throughput POC diagnostic analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7442-7448
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2022


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