MicroRNAs are extremely promising candidates for early cancer diagnosis and prognosis. The levels of circulating microRNAs provide valuable information about cancer disease at its early stages. However, the levels of microRNAs that need to be detected are extremely low and difficult to discriminate from a large pool of oligonucleotides. There is the need for accurate, rapid and sensitive detection methodologies for detection of microRNAs. We developed electrochemical impedance spectroscopy peptide nucleic acid (PNA)-based sensors that can detect miRNAs in diluted serum with a limit of detection of 0.38 fM. In order to further improve the accuracy and reliability of the sensors, we developed an assay using magnetic beads for simple and rapid fishing of target microRNAs from solution and its pre-concentration prior to electrochemical detection. Our methodology utilizes magnetic beads for the capture of the target microRNA from solution and brings the concentrated sample to the sensor surface. We modify the magnetic beads with locked nucleic acids (LNA), which have high affinity and specificity to their complementary microRNA sequence. The separated and concentrated microRNA is then detected using the PNA-based sensors. By exposing the sensing electrodes only to the captured microRNAs, interferences from other nucleotides or biomolecules from the sample are eliminated.
- Cancer detection