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DNA detection probe and system for cancer diagnosis

Value Proposition

Cancer is initially diagnosed after a positive screening test that leads to further investigation. Often these investigations require a multitude of blood, urine, and/or imaging studies to diagnose and fully characterize the disease. As with any diagnostic test, there exists a chance for erroneous results leading to unnecessary procedures. Furthermore, these tests all require significant time and money. A highly sensitive, cheap, rapid and mobile device that could be used as a point-of-care assay would mitigate much of the cost and anxiety surrounding cancer diagnosis and treatment planning.


The inventors have conceived of a non­invasive test using a sensitive, cheap and mobile device that would aid in cancer diagnosis and treatment planning. The invention comprises a novel method to accurately and rapidly detect mutated cell­free DNA (cfDNA) in bodily fluids, such as plasma and urine. The device would fluorescently detect tumor DNA without the need for amplification. For analysis, the inventors are also developing a miniature fluorescence DNA microarray detector without the need for filters and lenses. Another aspect of the invention detects DNA in a sample with multi wall carbon nanotubes achieved by using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry.


  • Technology will enable much more rapid analysis than is currently possible by eliminating the need for complex sample preparation and signal amplification.
  • Compact, miniaturized fluorescent detector eliminating the need for filters and lenses.
  • Low price of device and measurement substrates will allow widespread and frequent use.

Duke File (IDF) Number



  • Kirley, Matthew
  • Fantony, Joesph
  • Glass, Jeffrey
  • Inman, Brant
  • Ngaboyamahina, Edgard
  • Parker, Charles

For more information please contact


Pratt School of Engineering

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