Light: Science & Applications (Nov 2023)

CRISPR-powered optothermal nanotweezers: Diverse bio-nanoparticle manipulation and single nucleotide identification

  • Jiajie Chen,
  • Zhi Chen,
  • Changle Meng,
  • Jianxing Zhou,
  • Yuhang Peng,
  • Xiaoqi Dai,
  • Jingfeng Li,
  • Yili Zhong,
  • Xiaolin Chen,
  • Wu Yuan,
  • Ho-Pui Ho,
  • Bruce Zhi Gao,
  • Junle Qu,
  • Xueji Zhang,
  • Han Zhang,
  • Yonghong Shao

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 1
pp. 1 – 11


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Abstract Optothermal nanotweezers have emerged as an innovative optical manipulation technique in the past decade, which revolutionized classical optical manipulation by efficiently capturing a broader range of nanoparticles. However, the optothermal temperature field was merely employed for in-situ manipulation of nanoparticles, its potential for identifying bio-nanoparticles remains largely untapped. Hence, based on the synergistic effect of optothermal manipulation and CRIPSR-based bio-detection, we developed CRISPR-powered optothermal nanotweezers (CRONT). Specifically, by harnessing diffusiophoresis and thermo-osmotic flows near the substrate upon optothermal excitation, we successfully trapped and enriched DNA functionalized gold nanoparticles, CRISPR-associated proteins, as well as DNA strands. Remarkably, we built an optothermal scheme for enhancing CRISPR-based single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection at single molecule level, while also introducing a novel CRISPR methodology for observing nucleotide cleavage. Therefore, this innovative approach has endowed optical tweezers with DNA identification ability in aqueous solution which was unattainable before. With its high specificity and feasibility for in-situ bio-nanoparticle manipulation and identification, CRONT will become a universal tool in point-of-care diagnosis, biophotonics, and bio-nanotechnology.