Polymerase Chain Reaction on a Viral Nanoparticle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Haydn A Little
  • Sandeep Sandhu
  • Nadja Steinke
  • Alison Rodger
  • Sarah A Goodchild
  • Roman A Lukaszewski
  • Tim Dafforn


The field of synthetic biology includes studies that aim to develop new materials and devices from biomolecules. In recent years much work has been carried out using a range of biomolecular chassis including α-helical coiled coils, α-sheet amyloids and even viral particles. In this work we show how hybrid bionanoparticles can be produced from a viral M13 bacteriophage scaffold through conjugation to DNA primers that can template a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This unprecedented example of a PCR on a virus particle has been studied by flow aligned linear dichroism spectroscopy, which gives information on the structure of the product as well as a new protototype methodology for DNA detection. We propose that this demonstration of PCR on the surface of a bionanoparticle is a useful addition to ways in which hybrid assemblies may be constructed using synthetic biology.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316–1325
JournalACS synthetic biology
Issue number12
Early online date5 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015