Nanotechnology based diagnostics has provided improved tools for pathogen detection and sensitive and specific characterization of antibiotic resistance signatures. Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex (MTBC) and, according to the World Health Organization, is one of the most serious infectious diseases in the world. Recent advances in molecular diagnostics of TB have improved both the detection time and sensitivity but they still require specialized technical personnel and cumbersome laboratory equipment. Diagnostics at point-of-need is crucial to TB control as it may provide rapid identification of pathogen together with the resistance profile of TB strains, originated from single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in different loci , allowing for a more accurate indication of the adequate therapy.Gold nanoparticles have been widely used in molecular diagnostics platforms. Here, we describe the use of gold nanoprobes (oligonucleotide functionalized gold nanoparticles) to be used in a non-crosslinking colorimetric method for the direct detection of specific DNA targets. Due to the remarkable optical properties of gold nanoparticles, this detection system provides colorimetric detection of the pathogen together with the potential of identification of several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) involved in TB resistance to antibiotics. For point-of-need use, we adapted this strategy to a low-cost mobile scheme using a paper based revelation platform and where the spectral signature is transposed to RGB data via a smartphone device. This way, identification of pathogen and characterization of resistance signatures is achieved at point-of-need.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMobile Health Technologies: Methods and Protocols
EditorsAvraham Rasooly, Keith E. Herold
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages16
VolumePart 1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4939-2172-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-4939-2171-3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2015

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Colorimetric method
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Nanoprobes
  • Paper-based diagnostics
  • Point-of-need detection


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