Medical Engineering Special Seminar: Kiana Aran-Keck Graduate Institute
CRISPR-Powered Transistors for DNA Biosensing
CRISPR has revolutionized the field of gene editing with its ability to selectively target and alter specific DNA sequences contained within the genome with high programmability. The genome searching capabilities of CRISPR have yet to be fully employed for DNA bio-sensing. We have recently developed a CRISPR-powered, graphene-based field effect transistor (gFET) capable of detecting the hybridization between nuclease deactivated Cas9, complexed with a gRNA, and DNA targets. This technology, termed CRISPR-Chip interacts with its target sequence by scanning the genomic sample until it finds and binds to its target. The selective hybridization of the target DNA to the CRISPR complex modulates the graphene’s conductivity and results in a detectable change in electrical signal output. CRISPR-Chip was able to detect two commonly deleted exon target sequences within the human dystrophin gene, without amplification. CRISPR-chip is the first example of CRISPR-powered electronic transistors that harness the search function of CRISPR/Cas9 and the ultra-sensitivity of graphene-based nanoelectronics to enable a complete label-free and amplification-free DNA biosensor. aranlab.org
Dr. Aran received her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the City University of New York in 2007 and her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University in 2012. She then continued her postdoctoral studies in bioengineering at the University of California Berkeley and was a recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral training fellowship at the Buck Institute for Aging Research in 2015. She joined Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) in 2018 as an Assistant Professor and is the Director of KGI’s High School Summer STEM Program. Aran also serves as a Consultant of Drug Delivery and Medical Diagnostics for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is a Cofounder of Nanosens Innovations Inc.