SCIENCE CHINA Materials, Volume 61, Issue 11: 1454-1461(2018) https://doi.org/10.1007/s40843-018-9253-5

Multiplexing technology for in vitro diagnosis of pathogens: the key contribution of phosphorus dendrimers

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  • ReceivedFeb 14, 2018
  • AcceptedMar 17, 2018
  • PublishedApr 16, 2018


After the microbiology based on Pasteur’s method and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the diagnosis company named Dendris has proposed a third-generation of diagnosis enabling the search of a broad range of pathogens with strong sensitivity and specificity. This extraordinary profile was possible thanks to the use of phosphorus dendrimers for which various techniques of deposition on a given support were investigated and described and analyzed in this report.

Funded by

the National Research Agency(Agence,Nationale,pour,la,Recherche)

“BIOTECHNOLOGIES” program(ANR,2010,BIOT,004,06:,Project,INNODIAG,to,JMF)

by Region Midi Pyrénées(06001324,&,07006292)

by CNRS.


This work was supported by the National Research Agency (Agence Nationale pour la Recherche), “BIOTECHNOLOGIES” program (ANR 2010 BIOT 004 06: Project INNODIAG to JMF) and by Region Midi Pyrénées (06001324 & 07006292) to RF and JMF and by CNRS (JPM, AMC).

Interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Contributions statement

Majoral JP, Caminade AM designed experiments linked to dendrimer technology, François JM and Fabre R conceived the DendriSchip® kit fabrication. Majoral JP wrote the paper which was improved and approved by all the other authors.

Author information

Jean-Pierre Majoral is Emeritus Director of Research, Exceptional Class at the CNRS in Toulouse. His research interest is focused on the design and the properties of macromolecules such as phosphorus dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers. Main efforts are directed at the use of dendrimers in medicinal chemistry, material sciences and catalysis. He is co-founder and scientific director of the start-up Dendris. He is a member of several Academies of Sciences worldwide , got a dozen of international awards, and is an author of over 635 publications, 7 books, 35 book chapters, and 45 patents (h index 65, over 15,700 citations).


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  • Figure 1

    Grafting of aldehyde terminated phosphorus dendrimer on aminosilanized glass slide.

  • Figure 2

    Microcontact printing of DNA involving four steps: 1) inking of the stamp with oligonucleotide, 2) drying under nitrogen stream, 3) contact of the glass slide functionalized by dendrimers with the inked PDMS stamp, 4) transfer of oligonucleotide from the PDMS stamp to obtain the patterned slide.

  • Figure 3

    Graded-bandgap structures based on charged phosphorus dendrimers and quantum dots inside an ordered porous alumina membrane.

  • Figure 4

    Hybridization of Cy5 complementary target DNA with DNA immobilized on phosphorus dendrimer multilayers (structures of the dendrimers are shown in Fig. 3).

  • Figure 5

    Structure of the anionic perylene diimide labelled star polymer A and of the cationic phosphorus dendrimer B.

  • Figure 6

    Sensitivity up to 10−18 obtained from a bilayer formed with A and B (Fig. 5) and using surface plasmon enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy technique.

  • Figure 7

    The DNA microarrays technique developed by Dendris.

  • Figure 8

    The advantages of DendrisChip® compared to other potential competitors. Reprinted with permission from [14].

  • Figure 9

    β-tester prototype proposed by Dendris.

  • Figure 10

    Sensitivity of the DendrisChips® technology (sum of blue and green ovals) versus microbiological method (sum of yellow and green ovals). Hi: H. influenzae; Pa: P. aeruginosa; Mca: M. catharralis; Kpn: K. pneumoniae; Sau: S. aureus. Caution : in the case of Sau, only 10 out of the 31 samples positively identified by the microbiological culture were confirmed by BDmax PCR assays.

  • Table 1   Comparative analysis of criteria from the different technologies used in IVD

    Culture method

    Mass spectrometry








    Time of response

    48 h

    24 h

    1–3 h

    5 ha 

    Non-cultivable species










    Man power cost





    Including PCR amplification

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