Highly sensitive dual mode electrochemical platform for microRNA detection

Pawan Jolly, Marina Batistuti, Anna Miodek, Pavel Zhurauski, Marcelo Mulato, Mark A. Lindsay, Pedro Estrela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (SciVal)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play crucial regulatory roles in various human diseases including cancer, making them promising biomarkers. However, given the low levels of miRNAs present in blood, their use as cancer biomarkers requires the development of simple and effective analytical methods. Herein, we report the development of a highly sensitive dual mode electrochemical platform for the detection of microRNAs. The platform was developed using peptide nucleic acids as probes on gold electrode surfaces to capture target miRNAs. A simple amplification strategy using gold nanoparticles has been employed exploiting the inherit charges of the nucleic acids. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to monitor the changes in capacitance upon any binding event, without the need for any redox markers. By using thiolated ferrocene, a complementary detection mode on the same sensor was developed where the increasing peaks of ferrocene were recorded using square wave voltammetry with increasing miRNA concentration. This dual-mode allows detection of miRNA with a limit of detection of 0.37 fM and a wide dynamic range from 1 fM to 100 nM along with clear distinction from mismatched target miRNA sequences. The electrochemical platform developed can be easily expanded to other miRNA/DNA detection along with the development of microarray platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number36719 (2016)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date8 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2016


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