MedusaTM Sequencing

Thomas D. Schneider, Ilya Lyakhov, and Danielle Needle

Filed with the US Patent Office on 2005 December 12
2010 March 03: Claims allowed.
European Patent 1960550
US Patent No. 7,871,777, Issued 18 Jan 2011

Imagine a sequencing machine the size of a molecule
that could sequence RNA in a living cell!

Benefits of the MedusaTM Sequencer

Informal description of the Invention:
The MedusaTM Sequencer is a single-molecule sequencing device that consists of a DNA (or RNA) polymerase attached to a set of four flexible arms. The tip of each arm carries a nonhydrolyzable nucleotide triphosphate analog and a spectrally distinct Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) acceptor fluorophore. A donor fluorophore attached to the polymerase excites an acceptor fluorophore by FRET if the fluorophores are close to each other. A MedusaTM Sequencer binds to a DNA primer hybridized to the DNA or RNA to be sequenced. The four arms with nucleotide tips "test" the polymerase pocket by diffusing in and out. The arm tip that has the nucleotide complementary to the unknown base of the template will dwell longer in the pocket than the other three that are not complementary. However, the polymerase will not incorporate the nucleotide on the tip of the arm into the nascent strand because the nucleotide triphosphate α-β bond is nonhydrolyzable. FRET between the donor on the polymerase and the acceptor at the arm tip produces a characteristic spectrum that identifies the bound base. Free hydrolyzable dNTPs (or NTPs) allow the MedusaTM Sequencer to step forward. The series of FRET signals reveals the unknown nucleotide sequence. A MedusaTM Sequencer could also be injected into a cell to read mRNA sequences inside a living organism. Coded versions of the MedusaTM Sequencer can signal when the device has been damaged.

PDF is available from and here US7871777B2.pdf

See also High Speed Parallel Molecular Nucleic Acid Sequencing.

See also Rod-Tether Nanoprobes!

Schneider Lab

origin: 2006 Jan 10
updated: 2018 Sep 26