Label-free DNA methylation analysis using opto-fluidic ring resonators

Jonathan D. Suter, Daniel J. Howard, Huidong Shi, Charles W. Caldwell, Xudong Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The opto-fluidic ring resonator (OFRR) is a sensitive label-free optical biosensor that is uniquely well suited for photonic and fluidic integration. For the first time we have explored the utility of this novel instrument for the analysis of methylation in oligonucleotides using the MBD-2 (methyl binding) protein as the capture molecule. This application has strong relevance to cancer research and future clinical tools through the study of methylation patterns in important gene promoters. In this work we quantitatively characterized the OFRR's response to artificially methylated ssDNA and dsDNA as a function of the number of methylated cytosines and DNA concentration. The effect of hemi- versus fully methylated oligonucleotides was also investigated. Additionally, anti 5-methylcytidine antibody was also used as the capture molecule and compared with MBD-2. It is found that the antibody has stronger affinity for ssDNA, whereas MBD-2 is much better at binding dsDNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1020
Number of pages5
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 15 2010


  • DNA detection
  • DNA methylation
  • Label-free
  • Optical ring resonator
  • Refractometric detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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