Aptamer-Based Assay for Rapid Detection of Mycoplasma-infected cells


The technology is an aptamer-based reagent for rapid detection mycoplasma-infected cultured and primary cells for biomedical study and clinical uses.


Stage of Development


In vitro data: Flow cytometry analysis showed that the synthetic aptamer probes selectively bind to mycoplasma-infected cultured and primary human cells. The aptamer probes can specifically stain mycoplasma-infected cells with a higher sensitivity than the commercially available Hoechst dye method. Additionally, the aptamer probe-mediated test takes less time than currently-used DNA PCR method, while showing similar specificity. Moreover, pre-clinical studies of peripheral blood cells demonstrated that the aptamer probes were able to detect mycoplasma-infected primary blood cells in in vitro cultures.


Competitive Landscape


Mycoplasma contamination is a major problem in cell culture since they are cell wall-free microorganisms unresponsive to preventative antibiotics.  Mycoplasma contamination of cell cultures is often missed due to lack of visible signs and can lead to erroneous experimental results in research lab, and cause safety concerns for clinical use. In comparing to current detection methods, this aptamer-based technology has several advantages, it is easy to generate and cost effective, takes less time to complete than PCR-based assay, and has higher sensitivity than Hoechst dye stain method.


Competitive Advantages


•       Simple and rapid method of identifying mycoplasma-infected cells

•       Single-reagent and one-step detection

•       Highly sensitivity and specificity

•       Useful for monitoring cell products in cultures for biomedical research and clinical uses


Intellectual Property


Provisional Patent Application filed - July 25, 2019


Patent Information:
Licensing Contact
Belisa Diaz

Youli Zu