Aptamer cocktail to detect multiple species of mycoplasma in cell culture

Quanyuan Wan, Xiaohui Liu, Zihua Zeng, Zhenghu Chen, Yanting Liu, Youli Zu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Mycoplasma contamination of cell line cultures is a common, yet often undetected problem in research laboratories. Many of the existing techniques to detect mycoplasma contamination of cultured cells are time-consuming, expensive, and have significant drawbacks. Here, we describe a mycoplasma detection system that is useful for detecting multiple species of mycoplasma in infected cell lines. The system contains three dye-labeled detection aptamers that can specifically bind to mycoplasma-infected cells and a dye-labeled control aptamer that minimally binds to cells. With this system, mycoplasma-contaminated cells can be detected within 30 min by using a flow cytometer, fluorescence microscope, or microplate reader. Further, this system may be used to detect mycoplasma-contaminated culture medium. This study presents an novel mycoplasma detection model that is simple, rapid, inexpensive, and sensitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3784
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 27 2020


  • Cell culture
  • DNA aptamer
  • Mycoplasma
  • Rapid detection
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Humans
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Culture Media
  • DNA Contamination
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Mycoplasma/genetics
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide/metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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