Optical detection of human papillomavirus type 16 and type 18 by sequence sandwich hybridization with oligonucleotide-functionalized au nanoparticles

Sz Hau Chen, Kun I. Lin, Chuan Yi Tang, Sheng Lung Peng, Yao Chen Chuang, Yi Rou Lin, Jui Ping Wang, Chih-Sheng Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The importance of detecting and subtyping human papillomaviruses (HPVs) in clinical and epidemiological studies has been well addressed. In detecting the most common types of HPV, type 16 (HPV-16) and type 18 (HPV-18), in the cervical mucous of patients in a simple and rapid manner, the assay of a labelfree colorimetricDNAsensing method based on sequence sandwich hybridization with oligonucleotide-functionalized Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) was fabricated in this study. Specific oligonucleotide probes were designed for the sequence detection within the L1 gene of HPV-16 and HPV-18, and the probes were capped onto AuNPs, as AuNP probes. The target HPV sequences in clinical specimens were obtained by an asymmetric polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with universal primers, which can amplify the target sequences from several HPV serotypes, including HPV-16 and HPV-18. The DNA sandwich hybridization between the target sequences and the specific AuNP probes was performed at a temperature closer to the theoretical melting temperature of the DNA hybridization. Next, the procedure of increasing salt concentration and cooling the hybridizing solution was immediately utilized to discriminate the target sequences of HPV-16 or HPV-18. If the target sequences were not complementary to sequences of AuNP probes, theAuNPswould aggregate because no duplexDNAformation occurred such that the color of the reaction solution changed from red to purple. If the AuNP probes were a perfect match to the target sequences and a full DNA sandwich hybridization occurred, the reaction solution maintained its red color. A total of 70 mucous specimens from patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia were tested by the AuNP probes sandwich hybridization. The results show that there were 33, 16, 5, and 16 cases detected with HPV-16, HPV-18, both HPV-16 and HPV-18 (HPV-16/HPV-18), and neither HPV-16 nor HPV-18, respectively. In comparison with the specific detection by TaqMan real-time PCR assays for HPV-16, the detection sensitivity and specificity of the AuNP probes sandwich hybridization reached 95% and 90%, respectively, for HPV-16 diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5185457
Pages (from-to)120-131
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2009


  • Au nanoparticles
  • Diagnosis
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV)

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