Multiplexed Detection of MicroRNA Biomarkers Using SERS-Based Inverse Molecular Sentinel (iMS) Nanoprobes.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have demonstrated great promise as a novel class of biomarkers for early detection of various cancers, including breast cancer. However, due to technical difficulties in detecting these small molecules, miRNAs have not been adopted into routine clinical practice for early diagnostics. Thus, it is important to develop alternative detection strategies that could offer more advantages over conventional methods. Here, we demonstrate the application of a "turn-on" SERS sensing technology, referred to as "inverse Molecular Sentinel (iMS)" nanoprobes, as a homogeneous assay for multiplexed detection of miRNAs. This SERS nanoprobe involves the use of plasmonic-active nanostars as the sensing platform. The "OFF-to-ON" signal switch is based on a nonenzymatic strand-displacement process and the conformational change of stem-loop (hairpin) oligonucleotide probes upon target binding. This technique was previously used to detect a synthetic DNA sequence of interest. In this study, we modified the design of the nanoprobe to be used for the detection of short (22-nt) miRNA sequences. The demonstration of using iMS nanoprobes to detect miRNAs in real biological samples was performed with total small RNA extracted from breast cancer cell lines. The multiplex capability of the iMS technique was demonstrated using a mixture of the two differently labeled nanoprobes to detect miR-21 and miR-34a miRNA biomarkers for breast cancer. The results of this study demonstrate the feasibility of applying the iMS technique for multiplexed detection of short miRNAs molecules.
Wang, H-N; Crawford, BM; Fales, AM; Bowie, ML; Seewaldt, VL; Vo-Dinh, T
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