Contact UsAngelika Niemz
535 Watson Drive
Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 607-9854
Email: angelika_niemz[at symbol]kgi.edu
Assays and Devices for Rapid Fully Integrated Nucleic Acid Testing at the Point of Care
Nucleic acid amplification enables sensitive and specific pathogen diagnosis. Point-of-care testing in low resource settings requires rapid, simple to use, and inexpensive assays and related devices for nucleic acid testing that address the entire process from sample in to answer out in an integrated format. We are developing such a platform technology by integrating isothermal nucleic acid amplification, lateral flow-based detection, and novel sample preparation approaches. Targeted pathogens include Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Isothermal DNA Amplification through Polymerase and Nicking Enzyme Activities
The isothermal Exponential Amplification Reaction (EXPAR) efficiently amplifies short oligonucleotides through thermostable polymerase and nicking endonuclease activities. We are investigating how EXPAR is influenced by thermodynamic, enzyme kinetic, and sequence related parameters, using experimental and computational methods. We are developing new assay formats and are conducting systematic assay optimization to achieve robust reproducible assay performance, with sensitive and specific target detection, a pre-requisite for application of EXPAR in clinical diagnostics.
Nucleic Acid Sample Preparation: What Happens at the Surface?
Our goal is to further the understanding, on a molecular level, of what determines the reversible interactions of nucleic acids with silica surfaces (including composites and modified surfaces). Based on this understanding, reaction conditions, surface composition and functionalization can be altered to more effectively switch from binding to release, particularly release of nucleic acids from the surface into a small elution volume compatible with subsequent nucleic acid amplification. Such understanding can lead to improved solid phase extraction methods for nucleic acid testing.