A disposable microneedle patch able to quickly extract DNA from plants could lead to more rapid detection of crop diseases.
Typically, testing a diseased plant to determine the responsible organism’s DNA requires grinding the plant matter and several hours of lab work. As an alternative, the team from North Carolina State University created a disposable microneedle patch that is placed on the plant’s surface, where its array of tiny needles pierce the plant and gather DNA material. The patch is then removed and washed with a buffer solution, allowing the DNA collected by the needles to be harvested for identification.
According to Qingshan Wei, “One of the obstacles to rapid detection is the amount of time it takes to extract DNA from a plant sample, and our technique provides a fast, simple solution to that problem.”
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