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Enzyme-linked oligonucleotide hybridization assay for direct oligo measurement in blood


Small oligonucleotides (oligos) are increasingly being utilized as diagnostics or treatments for disease. An impediment to broader use is the ability to readily measure oligos in biological fluids. Here, we describe a very straightforward assay with detection in the sub-picomole range that does not require extraction from serum/plasma or polymerization chain reaction amplification. As a result, there are no losses or errors due to sample handling, and the assay can be used to measure oligos modified in a variety of ways that increase therapeutic efficacy. The enzyme-linked oligonucleotide hybridization assay (ELOHA) is based on competition with a detection oligo for hybridization to a capture oligo covalently linked to a solid substrate. The versatility of ELOHAs is demonstrated by application to the measurement of three oligos, including two morpholino-oligos with 3'-octaguanidine derivatization for efficient cell uptake. The third oligo is unmodified and has a DNA sequence equivalent to miR93. The assays have sensitivity as low as 0.28 pmol/sample reaction at 50% hybridization. Adding to clinical utility is the need for only a simple 96-well absorbance plate reader and the finding that neither EDTA nor heparin interferes with detection.

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