Quantitative DNA amplification using fluorescence labeling has played an important role in the recent, rapid progress of basic medical and molecular biological research. Here we report a label-free detection of real-time DNA amplification using a nanofluidic diffraction grating. Our detection system observed intensity changes during DNA amplification of diffracted light derived from the passage of a laser beam through nanochannels embedded in a microchannel. Numerical simulations revealed that the diffracted light intensity change in the nanofluidic diffraction grating was attributed to the change of refractive index. We showed the first case reported to date for label-free detection of real-time DNA amplification, such as specific DNA sequences from tubercle bacilli (TB) and human papillomavirus (HPV). Since our developed system allows quantification of the initial concentration of amplified DNA molecules ranging from 1 fM to 1 pM, we expect that it will offer a new strategy for developing fundamental techniques of medical applications.
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