A versatile biosensing platform coupling CRISPR–Cas12a and aptamers for detection of diverse analytes

Xiangxiang Zhao, Shanshan Li, Guang Liu, Zhong Wang, Zhiheng Yang, Quanwei Zhang, Mindong Liang, Jiakun Liu, Zilong Li, Yaojun Tong, Guoliang Zhu, Xinye Wang, Lan Jiang, Weishan Wang, Gao-Yi Tan*, Lixin Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Rapid and sensitive detection of various analytes is in high demand. Apart from its application in genome editing, CRISPR–Cas also shows promises in nucleic acid detection applications. To further exploit the potential of CRISPR–Cas for detection of diverse analytes, we present a versatile biosensing platform that couples the excellent affinity of aptamers for broad-range analytes with the collateral single-strand DNA cleavage activity of CRISPR–Cas12a. We demonstrated that the biosensors developed by this platform can be used to detect protein and small molecule in human serum with a complicated background, i.e., the tumor marker alpha fetoprotein and cocaine with the detection limits of 0.07 fmol/L and 0.34 μmol/L, respectively, highlighting the advantages of simplicity, sensitivity, short detection time, and low cost compared with the state-of-the-art biosensing approaches. Altogether, this biosensing platform with plug-and-play design show great potential in the detection of diverse analytes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Bulletin
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)69-77
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • CRISPR-Cas12a
  • Aptamer
  • Biosensing platform
  • Diverse analyte
  • Alpha fetoprotein detection
  • Cocaine detection


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